skip to page content | skip to main navigation
 Catalog and Search Tools  Research Help   Libraries and Collections  Services  How To ...  About SULAIR

General Information
Special Collections
Nineteenth Century
Twentieth Century to 1945
Twentieth-Century Poetry Since 1945
Twentieth-Century Fiction and Drama Since 1945
Twentieth-Century Literary Publishers
Popular/Mass Culture
Electronic Resources
British and Commonwealth Literary Studies
Contact Information

Printer-Friendly Printer-Friendly     


American Literary Studies

Marjorie Perloff Papers

The Papers

Location: Department of Special Collections, Green Library

Call Number: M1504

Size: 19 linear ft

Finding Guide: A printed version is available in the reading room of the Department of Special Collections. An electronic version of the finding guide is available here.

Materials in the Department of Special Collections are non-circulating and must be used in the Special Collections' Reading Room in the Cecil H. Green Library. The Reading Room is open 10:00am to 5:00pm Monday through Friday. Photocopies and photographs can be made of some materials in the collections. For more information about the collections and access policies, please contact Special Collections by telephone at (650) 725-1022, by electronic mail at or by regular mail at the Department of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, California 94305-6004.

Career of Marjorie Perloff

Marjorie Perloff, one of the foremost critics of modern and postmodern poetry, was born in Vienna in 1931. Perloff arrived in the United States as a teenager, after her family fled Austria to escape the Nazis. She received a BA from Barnard College and then went on to complete a Ph.D. at the Catholic University of America in 1965, where she also obtained her first faculty position. Later, she taught at the University of Maryland and the University of Southern California. In 1986, she moved to Stanford University, becoming the Sadie Dernham Patek Professor of Humanities in 1990, a position she held until her retirement in 2001.

Her three earliest books, Rhyme and Meaning in the Poetry of Yeats (1970), The Poetic Art of Robert Lowell (1973), and Frank O'Hara: Poet among Painters (1977), were each devoted to the study of a single poet. Her later works, such as The Futurist Movement: Avant Garde, Avant Guerre, and the Language of Rupture (1986), Radical Artifice: Writing Poetry in the Age of Media (1992), Wittgenstein's Ladder: Poetic Language and the Strangeness of the Ordinary (1996) , and Twenty-first-Century Modernism (2001), have a much broader scope, often examining the cultural and historical roots of modernism and postmodernism and exploring the complex interconnections between these periods. Perloff’s work has had a major impact on the reception of experimental poetry, bringing critical attention to avant-garde poets, who may have otherwise gone unnoticed and underappreciated. In addition to her numerous scholarly books, articles, and reviews, Perloff is also the author of a memoir, The Vienna Paradox (2004), which recounts the experience of her family fleeing Austria.


The collection contains letters from prominent poets, including Charles Bernstein, Robert Creeley, Barbara Guest, Lyn Hejinian, Susan Howe, Ann Lauterbach, Robert Lowell, Robert Pinsky, and Leslie Scalapino. Other materials include scrapbooks, reviews, editorials, and correspondence relating to the publication of her books, as well as materials relating to her teaching and academic administrative positions.


  • Rhyme and Meaning in the Poetry of Yeats, Mouton (Hawthorne, NY), 1970.
  • The Poetic Art of Robert Lowell, Cornell University Press (Ithaca, NY), 1973.
  • Frank O'Hara: Poet among Painters, Braziller (New York), 1977.
  • The Poetics of Indeterminacy: Rimbaud to Cage, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 1981.
  • The Dance of the Intellect: Studies in the Poetry of the Pound Tradition, Cambridge University Press (New York), 1985.
  • The Futurist Movement: Avant Garde, Avant Guerre, and the Language of Rupture, University of Chicago Press (Chicago), 1986.
  • (Editor with others) The Columbia Literary History of the United States, Columbia University Press (New York), 1987.
  • (Editor and author of introduction) Postmodern Genres, University of Oklahoma Press (Norman, OK), 1989.
  • Poetic License: Essays in Modernist and Postmodernist Poetics, Northwestern University Press (Evanston, IL), 1990.
  • Radical Artifice: Writing Poetry in the Age of Media, University of Chicago Press (Chicago), 1992.
  • (Editor, with Charles Junkerman, and author of introduction) John Cage: Composed in America, University of Chicago Press (Chicago), 1994.
  • The Dance of the Intellect: Studies in the Poetry of the Pound Tradition, Northwestern University Press (Evanston, IL), 1996.
  • Wittgenstein's Ladder: Poetic Language and the Strangeness of the Ordinary, University of Chicago Press (Chicago), 1996.
  • Poetry on and off the Page: Essays for Emergent Occasions, Northwestern University Press (Evanston, IL), 1998.
  • American Poetry: The Twentieth Century, Library of America, (New York), 2000.
  • Twenty-first-Century Modernism, Basil Blackwell (Malden, MA), 2001.
  • The Vienna Paradox: a Memoir, New Directions (New York), 2004
  • Differentials: Poetry, Poetics, Pedagogy, University of Alabama Press (Tuscaloosa, AL), 2004.


Related Manuscript Collections at Stanford

Rae Armantrout Papers, M1211




Last modified: June 1, 2009

© Stanford University. Stanford, CA 94305. (650) 723-2300. Terms of Use | Copyright Complaints
[an error occurred while processing this directive]