I am a writer and lecturer interested in Classical reception, creative writing, literature, and film. I have taught at Sussex University, York St John University, Edinburgh Napier University, and the University of East Anglia. I am currently writer-in-residence at the Coffin Works museum.

My creative and critical work examines the intersection of science, literature, and film, with a focus on three main areas: the forest, literary chemistry, and death rituals. 

The Forest 

I am interested in the forest as a mythical, sacred space, but also as the site for environmental trauma and human violence. My critical work engages with encounters in the forest, from the myths of Ovid’s Metamorphoses, to contemporary rural and folk horror cinema. My current novel is a eco-horror, speculative retelling of Euripides’ Medea. My monograph The Ovidian Locus Terribilis in Contemporary Crime Drama (Bloomsbury, 2019) examines cultural representations of death, violence, and sexuality in dark genres (dystopia, crime, eco-horror, and rural horror), and the influence that the representation of landscape in ancient poetry and tragedy has on contemporary dark fiction and cinema. 

Literary Chemistry

My monograph Luminol Theory (Punctum, 2017) examines images of violent death in literature using the metaphor of crime scene investigation. This book is based on my doctoral research “Luminol Theory and the Excavation of Narrative: Forensic Readings from Ovid to  Kathy Acker” This was an interdisciplinary thesis drawing on forensic science, Classical reception, and literary analysis. My collection of prose poetry The Luminol Reels (Calamari, 2014) uses the chemical luminol as a central image.

Death Rituals

I am currently writer-in-residence at the Coffin Works museum in the Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham, where I am running a series of writing events in conjunction with BrumYODO and the annual festival on death and dying “A Matter of Life and Death”. My first novel, The Museum of Atheism (Salt, 2012), is a retelling of the murder of Jonbenet Ramsey, and my poetry collection The Luminol Reels (Calamari, 2014) is written from the perspective of dead women. My current edited collection Domestic Noir (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017) concerns the representation of intimate partner violence, coercive control, and murder in popular fiction. 

Contact me at lauraellenjoyce@me.com