Image: Kaitlyn Shea
I’m a poet, literary editor, and occasional book critic. I’m interested in inkblots, underworlds, erasures, and bad translations, among other things. Since 2003, I’ve taught at the University of Chicago, where I offer classes on parody, obscenity, and contemporary literary publishing.
My latest book of poetry, Underworld Lit, was a finalist for the Griffin International Poetry Prize, the T.S. Eliot Four Quartets Prize, and a 2020 TLS Book of the Year. It’s been described as “a multiverse, a few novels packed in one poetry collection, a delightful and ironic autobiography of a university professor of literature, a book full of disturbingly poetic moments and ironic quizzes, a guided tour to hell” (Griffin Prize judges’ citation). My previous book, Voyager, was named one of the best books of poetry in 2011 by The New Yorker, The Believer, and National Public Radio; and my first collection, Facts for Visitors, received the 2005 Asian American Literary Award for Poetry. You can read excerpts and reviews of Underworld Lit, Voyager, and Facts for Visitors on this website.
Currently, I’m the poetry editor of The Paris Review, and—with Rosa Alcalá, Douglas Kearney, and Katie Peterson—I edit the Phoenix Poets book series at the University of Chicago Press. In 2022, I also guest-edited three special issues of Poetry magazine. You can read those issues here, and listen to my podcasts for the magazine, too, if you’re interested in elevator operators, ghosts, shit, and the like.
From time to time, I write about contemporary poetry in venues like The New York Times and Lana Turner. Oxford University Press published my critical study, Changing Subjects: Digressions in Modern American Poetry in 2012. A book of my lectures on poetry, The Unsignificant: Three Talks on Poetry and Pictures, will be published by Wave Books someday. Thank you for visiting my website; I hope you enjoy poking around in what’s here.