Rudman’s work has often been described as novelistic. He mixes prose and lyric, and a single poem can contain multiple registers. In an interview with the Denver Quarterly, Rudman says of the dramatic situations in his work, “Dialogue gives credence to difference, to all the people that people us. To the high and the low.” Reviewing The Couple, poet and critic Mark Jarman states that "The poetry Rudman makes at its best reflects and dwells on the tensions between one person and another, a dialectic if you will; poetry is its synthesis. Berryman's multi-vocal Dream Songs come to mind, though Rudman is neither as hectic nor as lyric. Rather than being the song of oneself, the poems in their dramatic constructions seek if not a common ground, then a communal stage." Inherently dramatic, Rudman's work lends itself to performance. He recorded his poem "The Albuquerque Interventions" with the actress Martha Plimpton; selections of Rider have also been recorded.
In addition to his own poetry, Rudman has published critical prose and highly acclaimed translations, notably of the Boris Pasternak, Znigbiew Herbert, and Bohdan Antonych. His translation of Pasternak's My Sister-Life (1983) won the Columbia Translation Center's Max Hayward Award; many of his translations appear in both Twentieth Century French Poetry and Twentieth Century Russian Poetry. His critical work includes Robert Lowell and the Poetic Act (2007) and Diverse Voices: Essays on Poets and Poetry(2009). His many critical essays have appeared in the American Poetry Review, the Nation, and the London Review of Books. He is editor-in-chief of Pequod, an international literary journal, and the recipient of awards from the Ingram Merrill Foundation, Guggenheim Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, and New York State Council on the Arts. He lives in New York with his wife and son, and teaches poetry at New York University.