A poet as well as an influential literary critic and a professor of English at the University of Rochester, James Longenbach writes primarily on modernist and contemporary poetry. He is the author of the critical works Stone Cottage: Pound, Yeats, and Modernism (1988), Wallace Stevens: The Plain Sense of Things (1991), Modern Poetry After Modernism (1997), The Resistance to Poetry (2004), The Art of the Poetic Line (2008), The Virtues of Poetry (2013), and Lyric Knowledge (2018).
His poetry collections include Threshold (1998), Fleet River (2003), Draft of a Letter (2007), The Iron Key (2010) and Earthling (2017).
Influenced by Yeats and Stevens, he connects ordinary events with cultural and historical references such as myths, wars, Venice, and Petrarch. Reviewing The Iron Key, Dan Radar noted, “like [Elizabeth] Bishop, Longenbach embraces high lyricism. His poems are tightly conceived, elegantly architectural, and sophisticatedly enunciated.”
Longenbach’s poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, and several editions of The Best American Poetry; his essays and reviews of contemporary poetry have been published in the Boston Review, the Nation, and the New York Times. He is married to the novelist Joanna Scott.