- Professor (Martha Meier Renk-Bascom Professor of Poetry)
- 7195F Helen C. White Hall
- E-mail Lynn Keller
- American poetry since 1950, recent experimental poetries and poetics, poetry and ecocriticism
Degrees and Institutions
MA & PhD, University of Chicago
BA, Stanford University
- Thinking Poetry: Readings in Contemporary Women's Exploratory Poetics (Iowa, 2010)
- Forms of Expansion: Recent Long Poems by Women (Chicago, 1997)
- edited with Cristanne Miller, Feminist Measures: Soundings in Poetry and Theory (Michigan, 1994)
- Re-making It New: Contemporary American Poetry and the Modernist Tradition (Cambridge, 1987)
- articles in edited collections, including, most recently, "Green Reading" The Oxford Handbook of Modern and Contemporary Poetry, as well as articles in such journals as American Literature, Contemporary Literature, Arizona Quarterly, and Journal of Modern Literature on poetry by Marianne Moore, Elizabeth Bishop, Robert Creeley, John Ashbery, Barbara Guest, Rosmarie Waldrop, Joan Retallack, Alice Fulton, C.D. Wright, Cole Swensen, Susan Wheeler, Myung Mi Kim and others.
American poetry since 1950, especially women's poetry and experimental poetries of recent decades; American long poems; visual poetics; poetry and environmental criticism.
I am working on a book on experimental ecopoetics, focusing on work by contemporary North American poets such as Evelyn Reilly, Ed Roberson, and Angela Rawlings.With Alan Golding and Adalaide Morrie, I edit the University of Iowa Press Series on Contemporary North American Poetry.
While I was trained as an Americanist and teach a range of American twentieth- and twenty-first-century courses on the undergraduate level, my research interests are generically focused: I study poetry almost exclusively. My early scholarship dealt with the relationship between modernist and contemporary or postmodernist poetry, but since the publication of my first book I have focused on poetry written since the 1970s, especially on women's writing and feminist poetries in the U.S. While linguistically innovative work has been at the center of my recent research, I am committed to reading broadly in the field of contemporary poetry and to cultivating in my students the varied reading skills necessary to appreciate varied poetics. Interested now in integrating my knowledge of contemporary poetry with my interests in environmentalism, I have shifted my research to the field of ecocriticism and contemporary experimental ecopoetics.
I regularly teach graduate surveys of poetry movements in the U.S. since the middle of the 20th century, as well as more specialized courses devoted to such topics as the long poem; experimental poetries and poetics; or recent poetry and ecocriticism. I have also taught Environmental Studies 900, the Interdisciplinary Methods Course required for graduate students earning a certificate in the Center for Culture, History and Environment.
University of Iowa Press
Thinking Poetry examines approaches to women’s poetic exploration ranging from radically open, thoroughly disjunctive writing to feminist experimentation within relatively conventional free verse forms; from texts testing the resources of visual elements and page space to those in which multilingualism or digital technology provide arenas for innovation; from revitalized forms of ekphrasis to fresh approaches to pop culture.
University of Chicago Press
Expanding the boundaries of both genre and gender, contemporary American women are writing long poems in a variety of styles that repossess history, reconceive female subjectivity, and revitalize poetry itself. In the first book devoted to long poems by women, Lynn Keller explores this rich and evolving body of work, offering revealing discussions of the diverse traditions and feminist concerns addressed by poets ranging from Rita Dove and Sharon Doubiago to Judy Grahn and Susan Howe.
University of Michigan Press
Feminist Measures: Soundings in Poetry and Theory breaks new ground in postmodern literary theory, including feminist theory, by moving the focus away from narrative fiction and onto poetry. The book responds to the need for more adequately theorized approaches to poetic literature by bringing together new, previously unpublished essays by fourteen accomplished critics.
Cambridge University Press
As a tradition modernism has fostered particularly polarised impulses - though the great modernist poems offer impressive models, modernist principles, epitomised in Ezra Pound's exhortation to 'make it new', encourage poets to reject the methods of their immediate predecessors. Re-making it New explores the impact of this polarised tradition on contemporary American poets by examining the careers of John Ashbery, Elizabeth Bishop, Robert Creeley and James Merrill.