He is a poet on the faculty of the MFA Program in Creative Writing, for which he serves as associate director. He spends most of his time reading poems and trying to write them, but on occasion he commits criticism, and has published research and critical essays on the poets Mina Loy, Thom Gunn, Thomas McGrath, Emily Dickinson & Thelonious Monk, Charles Reznikoff, Philip Larkin, Seamus Heaney, Kenneth Koch, William Carlos Williams, Fulke Greville, the Baroness Elsa von Freytag Loringhoven, and others. Officially, his research interests lie principally in the areas of Anglophone modernism, with an emphasis on American poetry and the poetry of the UK, from 1850 to the present; but he’s really interested in poems of all kinds. He is the author of two books of poetry, The World’s Room and From the Book of Giants, and the editor of At the Barriers: On the Poetry of Thom Gunn (all from Chicago). His new book of poems, The Figure of a Man Being Swallowed by a Fish, will be published in spring 2013.
He is the recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award and the Rome Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, among others. He has been the poetry editor of Tikkun (www.tikkun.org) since 1996. This year he holds the Amy Lowell Poetry Travelling Scholarship, which brings him to Berlin. He is learning German (“sehr langsam, zu langsam”) and hoping to try his hand at translating poems by Ernst Jandl, which he understands cannot be translated, and Rilke’s Das Stunden Buch, which is not well known in the U.S., despite Rilke’s great popularity there. His most recent poetry & criticism can be found at www.bodyliterature.com, http://lareviewofbooks.org/, and in Brick (www.brickmag.com) .