Brandon Menke

Brandon Menke's picture
9th Year
Areas of Interest: 

Poetry and poetics; 20th/21st-century American literature, art, and visual culture; queer lyricism and aesthetics; race, gender, and sexuality studies; regionalism; temporality; environmental humanities; transmediation; creative writing; hybrid forms; artistic collaboration; translation; the supernatural

Dissertation Topic: 

Slow Tyrannies: Queer Lyricism, Visual Regionalism, and the Transfigured World

Advisors: Langdon Hammer, Wai Chee Dimock, Marta Figlerowicz

M.F.A., Creative Writing, New York University
B.A., summa cum laude, English Literature, Washington University in St. Louis

Brandon Menke is a poet and Ph.D. candidate in English Literature. His dissertation examines lyric form, regionalist aesthetics, and networks of queer intimacy in American literature and visual art from the 1920s to the 1970s. While at Yale, he has coordinated the American Literature in the World Graduate Conference with Wai Chee Dimock, served as editor-in-chief and poetry editor of Palimpsest: Yale Graduate Literary and Arts Magazine, and co-organized the Graduate Poets Reading Series. He has served as a Guest Critic in the Yale School of Art and was previously a co-convener of the English department’s 20th- and 21st-Centuries Studies Colloquium, Contemporary Poetry Colloquium, and the Literature, Arts, and Environment Colloquium. Prior to joining the department, he received his MFA in poetry from New York University and served as poetry editor of Washington Square Review. In addition to completing his dissertation, he is currently at work on a manuscript with fellow poet Jahan Khajavi that mines the deep cultural archive of homoerotic imagery in the Wild West; their poems metabolize and celebrate the iconography of the gay cowboy while undercutting such mythopoetics with an awareness of the real, contested space of the American frontier and the violent erasure of its Native peoples and ecologies. His work can be found or is forthcoming in bæst: a journal of queer forms & affects, Columbia Journal, Denver Quarterly, Public Books, Barrow Street, and elsewhere. He is an Assistant Editor at The Yale Review and lives with his partner in South Bend, Indiana.

Selected Publications

“Souvenirs,” “Leopard-Skin Cache-Sexe,” and “Bisque Head.” Court Green. Forthcoming.

Interview with Wayne Koestenbaum, The Yale Review. April 4, 2022.

“High Chaparral” and “Mossy Horn Smiles,” with Jahan Khajavi, bæst: a journal of queer forms & affects. August 25, 2021.

“Above One’s Bend,” with Jahan Khajavi, Columbia Journal. November 16, 2020.

“Devil’s Garden,” “Not by a Longshot,” “Sunstroke,” and “Pando at the Du Kum Inn,” with Jahan Khajavi, Denver Quarterly. Fall 2020.

Annotations on Henri Matisse’s Moroccan paintings for “Weak Description” by Wai Chee Dimock. Public Books ”Virtual Roundtable on ‘Description in the Novel.’” Ed. David Alworth. November 15, 2016.

“From the First Book of Samuel,” Emotive Fruition and Lambda Literary, Summer 2016.

“Heretic Vernacular,” Double Dip, Yale School of Art Painting and Printmaking MFA Thesis Exhibition Catalogue, Spring 2016.

“Silver Being Made, & He,” Emotive Fruition and NPR’s Radio Lab, Summer 2015.

“Show Trials, to Purge” and “West Midlands, or Catullus LXI,” Barrow Street, Winter 2012/2013.

“Two Séances,” Forget Magazine, Spring 2011.

Papers Delivered

“The Poet as Magick Vessel: John Wieners and Occult Objecthood.” Roundtable: “Open Channels: Divinatory Poetics and Critique of the Lyric.” Northeast Modern Language Association Convention, Baltimore, MD. March 2022.

“Pier Queens and Waterfront Poetics.” Panel: “The Poetics of Infrastructure.” Northeast Modern Language Association Convention, Baltimore, MD. March 2022.

“The Atomic Tenebrism of William Carlos Williams and René Char.” Panel: “Multilingual Williams.” Modern Language Association Convention, Washington, DC (held online). January 2022.

“Transform the Energy: Yoko Ono’s Imperatives and the Optative Mood.” Roundtable: “We Who? Mutuality and Poetic Address.” Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present Conference, Virtual, October 2021.

“The Metamorphosis of American Elegy in the Wake of AIDS.” Seminar: “Elegy Today: Revisions, Rejections, Re-Mappings.” American Comparative Literature Association Virtual Conference, Montreal, QC (held online). April 2021.

“‘It is at once manifest and hidden’: Stephen Jonas’s Lyric Alchemy.” Panel: “Towards a Poetics of Queer Mysticism in 19th- and 20th-Century American Literature.” Northeast Modern Language Association Convention, Philadelphia, PA (held online). March 2021.

“Jack Spicer and the (In)Felicities of Posthumous Collaboration.” Roundtable: “Undead Voices and Post-Perspectives.” Northeast Modern Language Association Convention, Philadelphia, PA (held online). March 2021.

“Intimate Immensities and Camp Sensibility: Inversions of Scale in James Schuyler.” Post45 Graduate Symposium, co-hosted by Rutgers University and Princeton University, New Brunswick, NJ. February 2020.

“‘Only through Self-Immolation’: Tennessee Williams Revises Hart Crane’s American Lyric.” Panel: “Queer Poetics.” American Literature Association Symposium on American Poetry, Washington, DC. February 2020.

The Master Letters: A Conversation on Lucie Brock-Broido, Emily Dickinson, and Archival Hauntings.” Leaky Bodies Graduate Poetics Group, University of Notre Dame, South Bend, IN. November 2019.

“Ephemeral Objects: The Author, the Artist, and Sensuous Reading in the Wake of AIDS.” Panel: “Modern (Im)Materialities.” Harvard–Yale Conference in Book History, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA. May 2019.

“Encasing Excess: Stigma and Mastery in Hart Crane’s American Scene.” Panel: “Queer Modernist Poetics.” Sexual Modernities Conference, U–M Modernist Studies Workshop, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI. March 2019.

“Containment Anxiety: (Counter)desiring the Ekphrastic Moment in Elizabeth Bishop and John Ashbery.” 20th and 21st Centuries Studies Colloquium, Yale University, New Haven, CT. February 2019.

Duende on the Prairie: James Wright’s Rust Belt Poetics.” Panel: “Poetic Landscapes.” Sights and Sites: Vision and Place in American Literature, American Literature Association Symposium, Santa Fe, NM. November 2018.

“Sensuous Reading: Elaine Equi, Joe Brainard, and Friendship With Things.” Panel: “Object Lessons: The Discourse on AIDS.” The Poetry and Poetics of the 1990s Conference, National Poetry Foundation, University of Maine, Orono, ME. June 2017.

“Encasing Excess: Stigma and Mastery in Hart Crane’s American Scene.” Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Colloquium, Yale University, New Haven, CT. February 2017.

“Intimate Immensities: Inversions of Scale in Schuyler’s Spring Ephemerals.” Panel: “Queer Intimacies, Queer Spaces, and Scales of Desire I: Literary Studies.” Northeast Modern Language Association Convention, Hartford, CT. March 2016.

“Encasing Excess: Stigma and Mastery in ‘At Melville’s Tomb.’” Panel: “Into Other Spaces: Hart Crane’s Lyric Practice.” Hart Crane Society, American Literature Association Conference, Boston, MA. May 2015.

Courses Taught

As Part-Time Acting Instructor:

ENGL 120 Reading and Writing the Modern Essay
ENGL 123 Introduction to Creative Writing
ENGL 127 Readings in American Literature

As Teaching Fellow/Tutor:

ENGL 282 American Literature from the Civil War to World War I (Caleb Smith)
ENGL 291 The American Novel Since 1945 (Amy Hungerford)
ENGL 450 Daily Themes (Cynthia Zarin)
ENGL S127 Readings in American Literature (R. John Williams)