Education and positions held
A graduate of Trinity College, Dublin (B.A., 1st class, in English Language and Literature: Richard F. Littledale Prize), where he edited Icarus, he was supervised for his doctorate at St Peter's College, Oxford by Richard Ellmann. He was for two years a lecturer in English and Liberal Studies, Oxford College of Further Education, before teaching at the University of Exeter, 1973–74.
A member of staff at the University of Sheffield since 1975, he was made Reader in 1988 and promoted to a Personal Chair in 1994. He was Visiting Lecturer, Peking University, Beijing, China, 1984; Guest Lecturer at the 50th Anniversary Conference of "Xinan Lienda" (National Southwest Associated University), Kunming, China, 1988.
He was a British Academy Research Reader, 1989–91; Leverhulme Research Fellow, 1995–96.
He has been a Fellow of the Yaddo Foundation, 1975; Visiting Fellow Commoner, Trinity College, Cambridge, 1995–96; Visiting Scholar, St John's College, Oxford, 1997; Visiting Fellow, Magdalen College, Oxford 1998.
He is a Member of the Society of Authors; a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature; Fellow of the English Association; Fellow of the British Academy; Hon Member of the T.S.Eliot Society of America; Hon Foreign Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Since 2009 he is Senior Research Fellow of the Institute of English Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London; Principal Investigator of the T.S.Eliot Editorial Research Project, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, 2009–14; General Editor of the Letters of T.S.Eliot.
- Henry's Fate & Other Poems 1967–1972, by John Berryman: edited with an Introduction (New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1977; London: Faber & Faber, 1978)
- John Berryman: A Critical Commentary (London: Macmillan; New York: New York University Press, 1980)
- Viewpoints: Poets in Conversation (London: Faber & Faber, 1981)
- The Life of John Berryman (London and Boston: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1982)
- W.H.Auden: The Critical Heritage (London and Boston: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1982)
- Novelists in Interview (London and New York: Methuen, 1985)
- The Royal Beasts and Other Works, by William Empson; edited with an Introduction (London: Chatto & Windus, 1987; Iowa University Press, 1988)
- Argufying: Essays on Literature and Culture, by William Empson; edited with an Introduction (London: Chatto & Windus, 1987; Iowa University Press, 1988). Chosen by Sir Isaiah Berlin as one of the books of the year 1987 in the Sunday Times
- Essays on Renaissance Literature, Vol 1: "Donne and the New Philosophy, by William Empson; edited with an Introduction (Cambridge University Press, 1993)
- Essays on Renaissance Literature, Vol 2: The Drama, by William Empson; edited with an Introduction (Cambridge University Press, 1993)
- The Strengths of Shakespeare's Shrew: Essays, Memoirs and Interviews, by William Empson; edited with an Introduction (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1996)
- Berryman's Shakespeare; edited with an Introduction (New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1999; London: Tauris, 2000)
- The Complete Poems of William Empson; edited with an Introduction (London: Allen Lane/Penguin Press, 2000; Tallahassee, Florida: University of Florida Press, 2000). Chosen by Sir Frank Kermode as one of the 'International Books of the Year', Times Literary Supplement, 1 December 2000; by David Sexton as 'Book of the Year', Evening Standard (London) December 2000
- William Empson: Among the Mandarins (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005). Winner of the American Publishers Association Award for Biography and Autobiography, 2005
- William Empson: Against the Christians (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006)
- Selected Letters of William Empson (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006)
- Letters of T.S. Eliot: Vol 1: 1898–1922 Revised edition. (Faber, 2009)
- Letters of T.S. Eliot: Vol 2: 1923–1925 (Faber, 2009)
Editor (with Valerie Eliot):
- Letters of T.S. Eliot: Vol 3: 1926–1927 (Faber, 2012)
- Letters of T.S. Eliot: Vol 4: 1929–1929 (Faber, 2013)
- Letters of T.S. Eliot: Vol 5: 1930–1931 (Faber, 2014)
- Letters of T.S. Eliot: Vol 6: 1932-1933 (Faber, 2016)
- Letters of T.S. Eliot: Vol 7: 1934-1935 (Faber, 2017)
- Murdoch, Iris (2003). From a Tiny Corner in the House of Fiction: Conversations with Iris Murdoch. Univ of South Carolina Press. p. 124. ISBN 9781570034992. Retrieved 19 June 2015.