Major Publications


Fence (Penned in the Margins 2015)



Experimental yet elemental poems.

Tim Cresswell creates a conceptual wilderness of words, held at the outer edge of experience, where natural and human history meet.


Postmodernist, postcolonial, poststructuralist, post-human, take your pick – there’s no turning back.

Fence is a strange and spectral volume, zigzag and jigsaw in its textures, strabismic in the sense of eerie slant that it gives to both landscape and language, born as it is of a fence that separates nowhere from the now and here, deep in the high Arctic. Moving through its poems, one experiences something of the doubling dissimulation of northen light: a fierce clarity of vision, combined with an awareness of things being uncannily off-scale and out of kilter.


Place: An Introduction (Blackwell 2014)

A new edition of the 2004 book – but no longer really short – 50% longer!


For geographers it’s tough to have a key concept like place be so common-yet-ineffable. Here Tim Cresswell does a masterful job of clarifying and explicating it in such a thorough and readable fashion. This book is impressive in its breadth and depth, its disciplinarity and trans-disciplinarity, as well as its focus on both the historical and contemporary debates on place.
Michael Brown, University of Washington

Place is one of the essential moments in any account of geography but it is also one of the most difficult to articulate. In this new edition of a book which has become the standard account of what place is and how it moves us Tim Cresswell provides a user’s guide to place which is, at the same time, a considered theoretical account. There is no better means of navigating a notion which is both utterly obvious and yet surprisingly difficult to come to terms with. The book isn’t just a highly recommended journey through the thickets of literature on place, it is a genuine starting point for students and scholars alike. Nigel Thrift, University of Warwick

Geographic Thought: A Critical Introduction (Blackwell 2013)

Geographic Thought

“Cresswell’s introduction to Geographic Thought is everything such a book should be: open and honest, wise and witty, accessible and engaging. Offering an intelligent guide to the history of geographical theory, Cresswell’s thinking is consistently clear, concise and critical. Bold in its conception and sure of its grasp of this rich and contested intellectual terrain, the book shows the value of geographical ideas in coming to terms with our common humanity and examining our place in the world.” —Peter Jackson, University of Sheffield

“Geographic thinking has become a many-splendoured thing, unable to be captured by conventional bounds. But Tim Cresswell does the best job of anybody so far in giving it shape and direction. Publishers always write that this or that book is indispensable but this one really is.” —Nigel Thrift, University of Warwick

Soil (Penned in the Margins, 2013)


If this poetry was a geological formation, it would be layered and folded, with scientific knowledge and a quick linguistic wit, with echoes of folk song, unsentimental ecological awareness, word games and a sharp but not unkind eye on the everyday – all this, but metamorphic too, fused  by human warmth into a memorable voice.’
Philip Gross, Winner of TS Eliot Prize 2009

‘Tim Cresswell’s poems unsettle.  They cause us to relocate ourselves poem by poem as we encounter contemporary landscapes, airports, city streets, domestic interiors, layered in Cresswell’s unique geological, poetic timeframe, and all made strange and testing by his brilliant and spare language. The central, major title sequence ‘Soil’ works through rhythms of space and light which stretch time so that the experience of reading these poems is utterly transforming.  A distinctive, important new voice is announced in this debut collection.’
Jo Shapcott, Winner of Costa Prize 2010

‘It’s the liminal borderland that stirs the best from Cresswell … He plays the connoisseur of the street, of urban language … this is an enjoyable book with an unusual take on the urban world, suggesting that our cities ought to be seen as ‘unlike melancholy”

Martyn CrucefixPoetry London

Often startling, the poems offer thoughtful explorations of the world and our place in it.’
Northeastern Magazine

‘This is poetry that is in turns, thought-provoking, evocative, moving, light-hearted in places, and so real that I could feel the soil under my fingernails – and not the dirty soil of wastelands but the earth soil from which beautiful things grow.’
Sarah James

On the Move: Mobility in the Modern Western World (Routledge, 2006)

Cresswell - On the Move

“By rigorously contrasting meaningful mobility with abstract movement, Tim Cresswell has enriched the study of this activity just as the scholarship on place did in contrast to space. His book is both pioneering and synthetic, a magisterial survey of the geography and history of mobility based on activities that define the modern period such as urbanism, capitalism, and imperialism as well as those which sought to regulate mobility on bus lines, at airports, and at immigration centers”

Stephen Kern – author of The Culture of Time and Space: 1880-1918

It is difficult to do justice to the empirical richness and theoretical innovation which characterises this excellent book …. I would urge readers across the humanities and social sciences to read this study and benefit from its many insights and wider theoretical applications.

Shompa Lahiri – cultural geographies

Place: A Short Introduction (Blackwell, 2004)


“This is a truly wonderful book. It is short but not trite or superficial. It is in depth without being dense. It is timely without ignoring classic issues and debates. There is a clear pedagogy here, which is often missing in texts, and it is well written by an outstanding geographer, and so I predict this book will sell very well indeed.”

Michael Brown, University of Washington

“The idea of place lies at the heart of most significant geographical issues, yet place can often be a difficult and highly contested notion. There is no more authoritative writer on place than Tim Cresswell, and here he presents a formidable multifaceted introduction…which should be read by every student of human geography.”

Paul Cloke, Bristol University

The Tramp in America (Reaktion, 2001)


“This is an effective, and sometimes touching, account of how a social phenomenon was created, classified and reclassified. The quality of the writing, the excellent illustrations and the high production standards give this reasonably-priced hardback a chance of appealing to a general audience . . . an important contribution to American studies, providing new perspectives on the significance of mobility and rootlessness at an important time in the development of the nation. Cresswell successfully illuminates the history of a disadvantaged and marginal group, while providing a lens by which to focus on the thinking and practices of the mainstream culture with which they dealt. As such, this book represents a considerable achievement.”—Cultural Geographies

“An important book. Cresswell has made an important contribution to a homelessness literature still lacking a more sophisticated theoretical edge. Clearly written, beautifully illustrated and with a strong argument throughout, the book deserves to be widely read by students and practitioners alike.”—Progress in Human Geography

In Place/Out of Place: Geography, Ideology and Transgression (University of Minnesota Press, 1996)


Once in a great while, a book comes along that is theoretically sophisticated, highly original, analytically compelling, and a pleasure to read. This is one such book. Drawing in a range of contemporary literature and social theorists as well as three case studies, Tim Cresswell persuasively demonstrates that the ideologies that define appropriate and inappropriate behaviour are innately geographical.

Byron Miller Annals of the Association of American Geographers

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