Langdon Hammer

Professor of English & Department Chair

Address: LC 418
Phone: 203-432-2236
CV | Office hours

Ph.D., English Language and Literature, Yale University, 1989
B.A., English Major, Summa Cum Laude, Yale University, 1980

INTERESTS: Modern and contemporary American and British poetry and poetics; biography; the history of authorship; letters and journals

My research and teaching focus on modern and contemporary poetry, chiefly but not only American, while I also have broad interests in the long history of poetry in English, in the history of authorship, and in American culture from 1900 to the present. As a critic and as a teacher of poetry, I am concerned with the particulars of how poems are made as well as with general questions of poetics. As a reviewer of poetry for the New York Times and as poetry editor of The American Scholar, I take pleasure in explaining poetry to a non-specialist audience. My current book project---a biography of the poet James Merrill---uses archival materials (letters, journals, worksheets, interviews) to explore the complex relations between this poet’s life and work.


--Hart Crane: Complete Poetry and Selected Letters, editor (New York: Library of America, 2006)

--Hart Crane and Allen Tate: Janus-Faced Modernism (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1993)

--"Hall of Voices: Richard Howard," Parnassus: Poetry in Review 29 (2006) 1-2: 97-117

--"Plath’s Lives," Representations (2001) 75: 61-88

--"Art and AIDS; or, How Will Culture Cure You?," Raritan 14 (1995) 3: 103-18

UNDERGRADUATE COURSES: Major English Poets, Writing of Verse, American Literature and the Cold War (senior seminar), Modern Poetry (lecture), Poetry Since 1950

GRADUATE COURSES: The Life of the Author from Johnson to Plath, Lyric and Society After Auden, Elizabeth Bishop and James Merrill, Contemporary American Poetry