James Longenbach

Joseph Henry Gilmore Professor of English
PhD, Princeton University

401A Morey Hall
(585) 275-4587

Research Overview

James Longenbach is a poet and a critic whose most recent collection of poems, The Iron Key, is a meditation on the conditions and consequences of beauty. His most recent critical work, The Art of the Poetic Line, is an account of the work of lineation in free-verse, syllabic, and metered poetry (ranging from Shakespeare to Ashbery). He has also written widely about modern and postmodern poetry, sometimes emphasizing the historicity of poetic language (Wallace Stevens: The Plain Sense of Things) but also exploring the ways in which poems resist their historical situation (The Resistance to Poetry).

Selected Publications

  • The Virtues of Poetry, Graywolf 2013
  • The Iron Key, W. W. Norton 2010
  • The Art of the Poetic Line, Graywolf 2008
  • Draft of a Letter, Chicago 2007
  • The Resistance to Poetry, Chicago 200
  • La résistance à la poésie, trans. Claire Vajou, Éditions de Corlevour 2013
  • Fleet River, Chicago 2003
  • Threshold, Chicago 1998
  • Modern Poetry after Modernism, Oxford 1997
  • Wallace Stevens: The Plain Sense of Things, Oxford 1991
  • Stone Cottage: Pound, Yeats, and Modernism, Oxford 1988
  • Modernist Poetics of History, Princeton 1987
  • Essays and reviews on (among others) Ashbery, Bidart, Bishop, Crane, Eliot, Glück, Graham, Lowell, Moore, Oppen, Pinsky, Pound, Stevens, Wright, Yeats
  • Poems published in The Nation, The New Republic, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Slate, and The Yale Review.


  • Courses in modern and contemporary American poetry, British and American modernism, James Joyce, Shakespeare, creative writing

Professional Honors and Awards

  • Award in Literature, American Academy of Arts and Letters
  • Guggenheim Fellowship
  • Mellon Fellowship
  • National Endowment for the Humanities Senior Fellowship
  • Visiting Fellow, Worcester College, Oxford University
  • Bain-Swiggett Professor of Poetry, Princeton University
  • Nation/Discovery Award
  • Goergen Award for Distinguished Achievement and Artistry in Teaching
  • Student Association Professor of the Year, University of Rochester
  • Student Association Teaching Award, University of Rochester