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2018 Literature Publications and Grants

*Indicates student co-author

Ashbery, John, Joshua Clover, and Henri Cole. Oko Wie Lepiej. Ashbery, Clover, Cole [The Eye Knows Better. Ashbery, Clover, Cole: Poems in Translation], translated by Jacek Gutorow. J. Wrocław, 2018.

Abstract: Polish translation of a selection of Professor Cole’s work by Jacek Gutorow.


Cole, Henri. “Arte Povera.” Poem. Poems of Rome, edited by Karl Kirchwey. Everyman’s Library, 2018, pp. 131.


Cole, Henri. “Ask a Poet: Henri Cole.” Interview by the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation. The Dodge Blog, July 27, 2018.


Cole, Henri. “Black Mushrooms.” Poem. The New York Review of Books, vol. 65, no. 5, 2018.


Cole, Henri. “Corpse Pose.” Poem. The Paris Review, issue 226, fall, 2018, pp. 119.


Cole, Henri. "Donald Hall, Who Gave His Life to Work and Eros." The Paris Review, June 26, 2018.


Cole, Henri. “Doves.” Poem. The New Yorker, June 4 & 11, 2018 Issue.


Cole, Henri. “Epigraphs.” Jubilat, issue 33, 2018, pp. 34-37.


Cole, Henri. “J.D. McClatchy, Darlingissimo.” The Paris Review, April 16, 2018,


Cole, Henri. “Jelly.” Poem. The Los Angeles Review of Books Quarterly Journal, no. 20, Childhood Issue, 2018, pp. 38-39.


Cole, Henri. Orphic Paris. New York Review of Books, 2018.

Abstract: Henri Cole’s Orphic Paris combines autobiography, diary, essay, and poetry with photographs to create a new form of elegiac memoir. With Paris as a backdrop, Cole, an award-winning American poet, explores with fresh and penetrating insight the nature of friendship and family, poetry and solitude, the self and freedom. Cole writes of Paris, “For a time, I lived here, where the call of life is so strong. My soul was colored by it. Instead of worshiping a creator or man, I cared fully for myself, and felt no guilt and confessed nothing, and in this place I wrote, I was nourished, and I grew.” Written under the tutelary spirit of Orpheus—mystic, oracular, entrancing—Orphic Paris is an intimate Paris journal and a literary commonplace book that is a touching, original, brilliant account of the city and of the artists, writers, and luminaries, including Cole himself, who have been moved by it to create.


Cole, Henri. Paris-Orphée [Orphic Paris, French edition], translated by Claire Malroux. Le Bruit du Temps, 2018.


Cole, Henri. “Queeries: Kirkus Review Talks with Henri Cole.” Interview with Karen Schechner. Kirkus Review, May 30, 2018.


Cole, Henri. “World AIDS Day.” Poems. Public art installation by Jenny Holzer. New York City, December 1, 2018.

Abstract: Poems used in #LightTheFight, the public art installation of artist Jenny Holzer in New York City (including five LED trucks).


Cole, Henri, Shane McCrae, Monica Youn, and Vijay Seshadri. “Where is Poetry Now?” The Paris Review, August 15, 2018.


Cole, Henri, Diane Williams, Nell Freudenberger, Carl Phillips, Marilyn Chin, Venita Blackburn, and Sharon Olds. “What Our Contributors are Reading This Fall.” The Paris Review, October 19, 2018.

de la Durantaye, Leland. “Bringing a Myth to the Surface.” Lapham’s Quarterly, November 29, 2018.


de la Durantaye, Leland. Hannah Versus the Tree. McSweeney’s, 2018.

Abstract: Hannah is a fiercely intelligent young women, daughter of a powerful family's black sheep son, and raised to question who has been, is, and will be damaged by business deals meant to protect and maintain the dynasty. A devastating wrong is done to her when she opposes a family scheme and her response is a battle cry of astounding violence and beauty. As haunting as Shelly Jackson or Thomas Bernhard, as enthralling as Nabokov or Joyce, Leland de la Durantaye's debut novel is a radical departure from contemporary storytelling. At once the story of a terrific act of vengeance and of a lifelong love, Hannah versus the Tree Hannah presents a new literary genre, the mythopoetic thriller.


de la Durantaye, Leland. “How Do We Write About Evil? Ece Temelkuran in Conversation with Leland de la Durantaye.” Literary Hub, Fall 2018.

Faggen, Robert and Alexandra Pleshoyano, eds. The Flame: Poems, Notebooks, Lyrics, Drawings, by Leonard Cohen. Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2018.

Abstract: The Flame is the final work from Leonard Cohen, the revered poet and musician whose fans span generations and whose work is celebrated throughout the world. Featuring poems, excerpts from his private notebooks, lyrics, and hand-drawn self-portraits, The Flame offers an unprecedentedly intimate look inside the life and mind of a singular artist. A reckoning with a life lived deeply and passionately, with wit and panache, The Flame is a valedictory work. “This volume contains my father’s final efforts as a poet,” writes Cohen’s son, Adam Cohen, in his foreword. “It was what he was staying alive to do, his sole breathing purpose at the end.” Leonard Cohen died in late 2016. But “each page of paper that he blackened,” in the words of his son, “was lasting evidence of a burning soul.”

Farrell, John. “Psychoanalysis and Modernism.” British Literature in Transition, 1920-1940: Futility and Anarchy, edited by Charles Ferrall and Dougal McNeill. Cambridge University Press, 2018, pp. 125-142.

Lobis, Seth. “Sympathy and Antipathy in King Lear.” Sympathy in Transformation: Dynamics between Rhetorics, Poetics, and Ethics, edited by Roman Alexander Barton, Alexander Klaudies, and Thomas Micklich. De Gruyter, 2018, pp. 89-108.

Abstract: Shakespeare's King Lear (ca. 1605) casts doubt on a universal, deterministic, and objective understanding of sympathy and antipathy and ultimately subordinates it to a specific, contingent, and subjective one. To the extent that they exist in the world, the play implies, sympathies and antipathies are not general cosmic forces but individual human impulses and affections. The storm scenes in the middle of the play represent a critical modulation from the objective to the subjective, as the oppressed king, having madly exclaimed against the qualities of cold and hot, wet and dry, goes on to consider the experience of them, both his own and those of unfortunate, suffering others. In counterpoint to Stoic moral idealism, this positive emphasis on human sympathy, inflected by the emotional registers of a remarkably diverse group of contemporary texts answering to similar concerns, contributes significantly to, and partly constitutes, the modernity of Shakespeare's ancient tragedy.

Moffett, Kevin and Matthew Derby. Sandra. Gimlet Media, 2018.

Abstract: A seven-part fiction podcast produced by Gimlet Media and co-written by Kevin Moffett and Matthew Derby, starring Kristen Wiig, Alia Shawkat, and Ethan Hawke.

Cappello, Mary, James Morrison, and Jean Walton. Buffalo Trace: A Threefold Vibration. Spuyten Duyvil, 2018.

Abstract: Three accomplished literary stylists deliver riveting meditations in pitch-perfect prose.
  All lessons worth learning are learned in the dark.
Buffalo, New York – in the 1980s, this former boomtown had already left its illustrious past behind. The days of heavy production were over in America’s rust belt, with no harbinger of what pursuits would fill this void. Amid this microcosm of national decline, a very special institution continued to flourish. The State University’s famous English Department was past its own glory days of the `60s but remained a cauldron of intellectual life, incubating some of the freshest, strangest, most exciting ideas to emerge in that defining period of the U.S. academy. Into this heady environment come three young people longing to be initiated into the Life of the Mind. A suburban Michigan aesthete seeks the modernism that will distance him from his family’s immersion in mass culture; a Pennsylvanian poet gains entry to the halls of academia through the art of theft; a cautious Canadian abandons monogamy for triangles of sexual and philosophical desire. This unique book tells their stories.
  Nobody ever learned anything just from being told it.
In these three intricate, interrelated essays, Mary Cappello, James Morrison, and Jean Walton meditate on the limits of expression, on the gender of ambition, on secrecy, eroticism, academic time, and snow. They give us glimpses of their sometimes poignant, sometimes hilarious engagements with the likes of J.M. Coetzee, Raymond Federman, Leslie Fiedler, Martin Pops, and an adulterous Professor X. They recall their critical obsessions with James and Proust, Woolf and Nabokov, Bresson, Blanchot, and Freud. Combining the narrative-exegetical with the lyric-intellectual, they evoke the process of coming-into-queerness in a time and place not always conducive to it.
  This “desire” then, born of our otherness from each other, functioned as an affirmation of the “me” I was becoming.
Yet these are no ordinary stories of “coming out” or “coming of age.” Above all, perhaps, they vividly convey the oddity of graduate study in a field like English, in a city like Buffalo, in a period like the `80s. A coterie’s undertaking, in a working-class town. A cosmopolitan discipline, in a marginal location – however Buffalo fashioned itself a bush-league Yale or the Berkeley of the East. A transitional period – “graduate school” – with no assured outcome, a preparation for a future that might never arrive, in a City of No Illusions. With rich, poetic prose, these essays are erudite and companionable, warm and smart, funny and heartbreaking. They tell us much more than we knew before about how we learn, how we yearn, how we live, how we love.
  You will go where you want to go, and you will not fail.


Morrison, James. Auteur Theory and My Son John. Bloomsbury, 2018.

Abstract: The newest volume in the Film Theory in Practice Series, Auteur Theory and My Son John offers a concise introduction to authorship and auteur theory in jargon-free language. The book goes on to show this theory can be deployed to interpret Leo McCarey's notorious but undervalued film My Son John, which critics deemed a clear-cut failure, and the auteurists declared a masterpiece. James Morrison traces the development of auteur theory through its emergence in the pages of the French film journal Cahiers du cinéma and the complex permutations it undergoes subsequently. This history will help students and scholars who are eager to learn more about this important area of film theory. The analysis of My Son John shows how auteur theory enables modes of interpretation and discovers levels of meaning otherwise unavailable.

Rentz, Ellen. “Lines from Chaucer’s Melibee in an English Book of Hours, c. 1425-50.” Notes and Queries, vol. 65, no. 2, 2018, pp. 172-174.

Abstract: In this article, I present my findings about a curious set of added lines at the back of an unusual book of hours at the Huntington Library. I am the first to identify them as quotations from Chaucer's Tale of Melibee.


Rentz, Ellen K. Review of An Introduction to Medieval English Literature 1300-1485, by Anna Baldwin. Speculum, vol. 93, issue 1, 2018, pp. 171-174.


Rentz, Ellen and Michelle M. Sauer, eds. "Manuscript Materiality in the Classroom," a special issue of Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Teaching, vol. 25, issue 2, 2018.


Rentz, Ellen and Michelle M. Sauer. “Of Parchment and Pedagogy: An Introduction.” Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Teaching, vol. 25, issue 2, 2018, pp. 7-16.

Abstract: This introduction to "Manuscript Materiality in the Classroom," a special issue of Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Teaching, explores the relationship between medieval studies, manuscript studies, and the 21st century classroom.

Smith, Derik. Robert Hayden in Verse: New Histories of African American Poetry and the Black Arts Era. University of Michigan Press, 2018.

Abstract: This book sheds new light on the work of Robert Hayden (1913–80) in response to changing literary scholarship. While Hayden’s poetry often reflected aspects of the African American experience, he resisted attempts to categorize his poetry in racial terms. This fresh appreciation of Hayden’s work recontextualizes his achievements against the backdrop of the Black Arts Movement and traces his influence on contemporary African American poets. Placing Hayden at the heart of a history of African American poetry and culture spanning the Harlem Renaissance to the Hip-Hop era, the book explains why Hayden is now a canonical figure in 20th-century American literature. In deep readings that focus on Hayden’s religiousness, class consciousness, and historical vision, author Derik Smith inverts earlier scholarly accounts that figure Hayden as an outsider at odds with the militancy of the Black Arts movement. Robert Hayden in Verse offers detailed descriptions of the poet’s vigorous contributions to 1960s discourse about art, modernity, and blackness to show that the poet was, in fact, an earnest participant in Black Arts-era political and aesthetic debates.

Warner, Nicholas. “A Two-Way Street: Leader-Follower Dynamics in Glory and Twelve O’Clock High.” Leadership, Popular Culture, and Social Change, edited by Kristin Bezio and Kimberly Yost. Edward Elgar, 2018, pp. 125-145.

Abstract: One of the most pervasive and influential forms of American popular culture—the Hollywood war movie—often features leadership as a central theme. Although many such films emphasize the traits or behavior of a single leader (shades of the "great man" approach to leadership), I argue that the most compelling cinematic depictions of wartime leadership focus on the dynamics between leaders and followers, with leadership presented as a "two-way street" of reciprocal loyalty and support. The movies discussed here exemplify this pattern, and demonstrate the importance of authentic follower empowerment as a key to effective, ethical leadership. Drawing both on leadership theory and film criticism, the chapter considers each movie as an outstanding example of filmmaking; as a cultural product that reflects and shapes American attitudes toward war and leadership; and as a substantive, even profound statement on the nature of leadership and the leader-follower relationship.