Marjorie Perloff

marjorie_perloff_Poet's house 2013, courtesy Lawrence Schwarzwald,

Before her retirement, Marjorie Perloff  was Sadie D. Patek Professor of Humanities at Stanford University. She is also Florence Scott Professor Emerita of English at the University of Southern California. She has taught courses and writes on twentieth—and now twenty-first—century poetry and poetics, both Anglo-American and from a Comparatist perspective, as well as on intermedia and the visual arts and, more recently, on Austrian literature between the two World Wars, especially on Ludwig Wittgenstein. Her first three books dealt with individual poets—Yeats, Robert Lowell, and Frank O’Hara; she then published The Poetics of Indeterminacy: Rimbaud to Cage (1981), a book that has gone through a number of editions, and led to her extensive exploration of avant-garde art movements in The Futurist Moment: Avant-Garde, Avant-Guerre, and the Language of Rupture (1986, new edition, 1994, available in Spanish translation), and subsequent books (15 in all), the most recent of which are Unoriginal Genius: Poetry by Other Means in the New Century (2011), which appeared in Portuguese translation in 2013, and Edge of Irony: Modernism in the Shadow of the Habsburg Empire (2016, 2018 paper). Radical Artifice: Writing Poetry in the Age of Media (1992) has been used in classrooms studying the “new” digital poetics (and in Chinese translation won an award for best criticism), and 21st Century Modernism (Blackwell 2002) is a manifesto of Modernist Survival.   Wittgenstein’s Ladder (1996) brought philosophy into the mix; it has recently been translated into Portuguese (Sao Paulo), Spanish (Mexico), and Slovenian. In 2019, the U of New Mexico Press will publish Circling the Canon: The Selected Book Reviews of Marjorie Perloff, 2 Volumes: Vol. 1-1969-96, Vol. 2, 1997-2016.

Marjorie Perloff has also published a cultural memoir The Vienna Paradox(2004), which has recently appeared in German translation in Vienna (Paradoxien einer Emigration, Praesens Verlag) and has been translated into Portuguese in Brazil.   The Sound of Poetry / The Poetry of Sound, co-edited with Craig Dworkin was published by Chicago in 2009. A collection of interviews, Poetics in a New Key was published by Chicago in the fall of 2014.

Perloff has been a frequent reviewer for periodicals from the TLS and The Washington Post to all the major scholarly journals, and she has lectured at most major universities in the U.S. and at European, Asian, and Latin American universities and festivals. In 2009, she was the Weidenfeld Professor of European Literature at Oxford University and in 2016, the first Wittgenstein Distinguished Professor at the University of Innsbruck in Austria. She is currently Presidential Fellow at Chapman University.

Perloff has held Guggenheim, NEH, and Huntington fellowships, served on the Advisory Board of the Stanford Humanities Center, and was President of the Modern Language Association in 2006. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and recently was named Honorary Foreign Professor at the Beijing Modern Languages University. She received an Honorary Degree, Doctor of Letters, from Bard College in May 2008, from Chapman University in 2015, and the University of Innsbruck.  In 2012, the Kelly Writers House at the University of Pennsylvania honored her with a special symposium; a varied set of the individual contributions to that symposium appeared in the online journal Jacket 2.

Marjorie Perloff recently participated in a film called “The Class of 1938: Exile and Excellence,” in which sixteen distinguished emigrés from Hitler’s Vienna are interviewed about their experience. The two films—the whole group and Perloff interview—are available on You Tube