image of multiple photographs from library of gerrit lansing

poets’ libraries

My current research specializes in book history and postwar American literature, with emphasis on how poets in particular approach the task of creating their own libraries or manuscript collections. As a result of this work, I often consult on and perform recovery work on documenting poets’ libraries that are precarious, not yet institutionally placed, community-oriented, or ephemeral. This includes cataloging, diagramming, photographing, and a variety of other techniques.

My dissertation, titled “The Shape of Knowledge: Poets’ Libraries in Postwar America,” examines the libraries of Charles Olson (1910-1970) and Diane di Prima (1934-), and won the Alumni and Faculty Award for Most Distinguished Dissertation of the Year at The Graduate Center, CUNY, English Program. Its first chapter will be published in early 2020 by the journal Book History, and I am editing a book manuscript on the topic.


Passwords: On Diane di Prima with Ammiel Alcalay and Iris Cushing.” Poets House, New York City (May 2019)

“The Shape of Knowledge: The Postwar American Poet’s Library” in panel on editing American modernism. Society for Textual Scholarship’s International Interdisciplinary Conference. The New School and New York University, New York City. (March 2019)

The Collaborative Research Seminar on Archives and Special Collections: On Archival Methodologies.” The New York Public Library. (February 2019)

“Manifold Media in New American Poetry: Scholarly and Archival Approaches” Textual Embodiments, Society for Textual Scholarship’s International Interdisciplinary Conference. University of Maryland (MITH). (June 2017)

What we need to know is laws of time & space / they never dream of” for Diane di Prima’s Revolutionary Letters. The Poetry Project (May 2017).