Professor Martin Goodman

Professor of Creative Writing and Director of the Philip Larkin Centre for Poetry and Creative Writing

Faculty of Arts, Cultures and Education

+44 (0) 1482 465892

Professor Martin Goodman’s first novel, On Bended Knees, was shortlisted for the Whitbread Prize (now the Costa Book Awards).

His biography of the scientist John Scott Haldane, Suffer and Survive, won first prize in the BMA Book Awards 2008.

His most recent works are Client Earth, a non-fiction book about ecolawyers saving the planet and Forever Konrad, a Hull-based vampire tale. 

Upcoming is Follow the Dog, a novel of music and the Holocaust. The generational inheritance of the effects of war is a major theme of his work.

Professor Goodman runs the independent publishing house Barbican Press. More information is available on his website.


Research Interests

  • The contemporary novel and forms of narrative nonfiction
  • Gas warfare in World War 1 and resulting medical advances
  • Varieties of 20th- and 21st-century religious experience
  • The inheritance of war guilt by succeeding generations
  • Urban fantasy
  • Dystopian fiction
  • Contemporary gay identity

Research groups

  • Professor Goodman runs an independent publishing house, Barbican Press, which focuses on edge fiction coming out of PhD programmes. Current developments include a move into poetry, texts in translation, telling stories from Hull, and graphic YA literature.


Goodman M, Forever Konrad (PS Publishing, 2017)

Goodman M with Thornton J, Client Earth: Building an Ecological Civilization (Scribe UK, 2017)

Goodman M, 'The High-Altitude Research of Mabel Purefoy FitzGerald, 1911–13', Notes and Records: The Royal Society Journal for the History of Science, 69, 1 (2015)

Goodman M, ‘The Other Side of the Poison Cloud: Canadian Soldiers as English Patients after the First Gas Attacks,’ in Barkhof S and Smith A K (eds.) War and Displacement in the Twentieth Century (Routledge, 2014)

Goodman M, 'The Naturalist and the Natural Boy: the Reclaiming of Self in Edmund Gosse’s Father and Son', Life Writing, 11, 1, 85-101 (Taylor and Francis, 2014)

Full list


Programmes taught on (2019)

Modules list


  • Writing the Novel
  • Creative Nonfiction
  • Research and Professional Practice Skills
  • Dissertation


  • Facts into Art: Making Nonfiction Come Alive
  • Collaborative Arts Practice
  • Creative Writing Portfolio

Research PhDs

Professor Goodman welcomes applications in non-fiction, the novel and playwriting.

Completed PhDs

  • Jim Younger, Fair Play for the Whole Hog: A Novel. 2012
  • Sarah Walton, Rufius and the Pivot of Authenticity: A Novel. 2013
  • Sarah-Jane Dickenson, Memory and Truth in Dramatic Writing, Playwriting: 2014
  • Brian Lavery, The Headscarf Revolutionaries, a biography of Lillian Bilocca. 2015
  • David Tomlinson, Becoming a Troubadour: Memoir & Songwriting. 2016

Current PhD supervisions

  • Edmund Hurst. Dawnsmoke and the Tropes of Fantasy Fiction: A Novel.
  • Chris Westoby. Nonfiction medical narrative, focused on Anxiety in a family setting.
  • Darren Dobson. Contemporary urban fantasy set in Hull.
  • Margaret Hamand. Contemporary novel exploring faith and the Catholic Church.
  • Keith Fuchs. Neo-Victorian supernatural romance.

Teaching awards and accolades

  • Postgraduate Diploma in English as a Second Language, Leeds University, 1982

Professional highlights

Academic qualifications

  • BA
  • PhD (Lancaster)

External roles

  • AHRC / BBC New Generation Thinker, writer / presenter on The New North, a two-part series on iconic architecture of Northern England, BBC Radio 4 2013; The Bronze Age Man of Jodrell Bank, on the writer Alan Garner, BBC Radio 4, 2014; and other essay and commentator roles on BBC Radio 3.
  • Working partnerships established with the Forward Arts Foundation, English Pen, Beverley Literary Festival, Humber Mouth Literary Festival, London Review Bookshop, Waterstones, New Writing North.
  • Runs an annual children's writing event in partnership with James Reckitt Trust, Hull Libraries, Book Trust, Hull Royal Infirmary, Z-Arts Manchester and Thomas Ferens Academy.
  • Works with the Man Booker Foundation on an initiative to give a Man Booker prize-winning book to every incoming undergraduate then have them meet the author.
  • Director of the Philip Larkin Centre for Poetry and Creative Writing which brings international writers to Hull to speak about their work in public performance spaces.
  • University representative on the original city-wide steering committee for Hull UK City of Culture 2017.     

Awards and accolades

  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts
  • 2013-15 - McIntosh Foundation Award, £104,000. For a book of narrative nonfiction on public interest environmental law in Europe
  • 2014 - AHRC Research Network: Crossing Over – New Narratives of Death. Named investigator
  • 2012 - New Generation Thinker, AHRC / BBC Award
  • 2011 - JISC Software development award; £24,000 (Non-PI, the CW lead in an interdisciplinary grouping), for archival capture and print / digital publication of creative writing workstream
  • 2010 - A British Academy Small Research Fund Award of £7,000, research into transference of Zen lineage from Japan to the West
  • 2008 - 1st Prize, Basis of Medicine, British Medical Association (BMA) Book Awards. For Suffer and Survive, biography of Dr J.S.Haldane
  • 2007 - Winner, Pen is a Mighty Sword International Playwriting Competition, Los Angeles, USA
  • 2005 - Authors Foundation Biography Award, £2,000. For J.S.Haldane Biography.
  • 2005 - Royal Literary Fund Award, £5,000
  • 2002 – Marion Foundation, $10,000
  • 2001 - Scottish Arts Council Writers Bursary, £5,000
  • 1993 - Society of Authors K. Blundell Award, £2,000
  • 1992 - Shortlisted for First Novel Award, the Whitbread Prize
  • 1992 - Scottish Arts Council Travel Award, £2,000

Professional highlights

Current book, Client Earth, has brought festival appearances in Hobart, Sydney, Bristol, Dartington, Church Stretton, Chipping Norton, Folkestone, Chiswick, Harrogate, and on BBC Parliament's Book Talk, BBC Radio 3's Free Thinking, and regional and national radio broadcasts in Australia and New Zealand.

As publisher of Barbican Press, new titles have been shortlisted for the Scottish First Book Award, longlisted for the Goldsmiths Prize and Polari Prize, and runner-up for the Virginia Novel of the Year, while another is to be filmed for the BBC. More than 30 writers from Hull have achieved first publication through the press.