Annmarie Drury

  • Annmarie Drury profile photo
Associate Professor
Associate Chair
Klapper Hall 603

Research Interests

My research focuses on Victorian literature and culture, 19th-century British poetry, and literary translation. My first book, Translation as Transformation in Victorian Poetry, explores the mutual influences of poetic and translation practices from early Victorian times into the 20th century. It was awarded the Sonya Rudikoff Prize for the best first book in Victorian Studies. Alongside my work in 19th-century British literature, I translate and write about Swahili poetry: poems of the Tanzanian modernist Euphrase Kezilahabi in the collection Stray Truths and, as part of an international collaboration, poetry from 19th-century Lamu, on what is now the Kenyan coast. In this work I draw on my background in comparative literature and African Studies. I also write and publish my own poetry and am committed to the creative practices of poetry-writing and literary translation. My current book project examines tropes and politics of listening in nineteenth-century British poetry. I am interested in how languages and literary cultures change to accommodate, understand, or resist unfamiliar voices. As part of this work, I have been writing about the Victorian dialect poet William Barnes and studying Shaaban Robert’s Swahili translation (1952) of Edward FitzGerald’s Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám (1859). I have also recently edited an English translation of the poetry collection Sauti ya Dhiki, by the Kenyan poet Abdilatif Abdalla, that was made by the late novelist Ken Walibora Waliaula; and with the help of excellent contributors, I have created an edited volume, The Imaginative Vision of Abdilatif Abdalla’s Voice of Agony.

Teaching Interests

I teach undergraduate courses in 19th-century British literature, including a senior seminar on “The Victorian Supernatural” and electives in Victorian poetry and prose. I have also co-taught, with Professor David Lahti in Biology, a course we designed on “The Literature of Evolution,” which explores how Charles Darwin and other naturalists drew upon and influenced literary culture. I teach English 170W (“Introduction to Literary Studies”), English 241 (“The Text in its Historical Moment”), and 242 (“Literary History”).

In our MA program, I offer courses on 19th-century British poetry, including “The Sounds of Victorian Poetry,” and teach English 701, the required methodologies course. In the MFA program I teach 763, “Craft of Translation” and 757, “Translation Workshop.”

Selected Publications

Translation as Transformation in Victorian Poetry (Cambridge UP, 2015).

Selected Poems of Euphrase Kezilahabi, edited and translated by Annmarie Drury (Michigan State UP, 2015).

The Imaginative Vision of Abdilatif Abdalla’s Voice of Agony, edited by Annmarie Drury (forthcoming with the University of Michigan Press).

Edited Collections

The Library Window by Margaret Oliphant, edited by Annmarie Drury (Broadview 2019).


“Shaaban Robert’s Swahili Rubáiyát and its Reckonings,” Modern Philology 121, no. 2 (November 2023).

“Searching for Swahili Jane,” in Close Reading a Global Novel Across Languages: Prismatic Jane Eyre, ed. by Matthew Reynolds (forthcoming with Open Book, Cambridge, UK).

“Epic Translation and Self-Scrutiny in Imperial Britain,” in A Companion to Translation of Classical Epic, edited by Richard Armstrong and Alexandra Lianeri (forthcoming with Wiley-Blackwell).

“The Long Timeline in Aesthetic Relations: On Working with Abdilatif Abdalla’s Sauti ya Dhiki (‘Voice of Agony’),” in Decolonial Aesthetics II: Modes of Relating, edited by Patrick Oloko, Michaela Ott, Peter Simatei, and Clarissa Vierke. Metzler-Verlag, 2023.

“William Barnes’s Dual Vocation and the Management of Feeling,” in Victorian Verse: the Poetry of Everyday Life, edited by Lee Behlman and Olivia Moy. Palgrave Macmillan, 2023.

“Aural Community and William Barnes as Earwitness,” Victorian Poetry 56, no.4 (Winter
2018): 433-53.