Karl Kirchwey

Karl Kirchwey headshot June 2014


BA, Yale College
MA, Columbia University

Room 214


For CV click here

Photo by Eva Kirchwey

My own creative work in poetry has been balanced between Europe and the United States and has been particularly concerned with the juxtapositions of antiquity with the contemporary world. I have translated poetry from French, Italian, Spanish and German, and have taught the Boston University Translation Seminar. I am also interested in close reading and practical literary criticism as it enables poets to gain a perspective on their own and others’ work.

Part of my career I have spent as a curator and administrator in the literary arts outside of academia. As Director of the Poetry Center of the 92nd Street YM-YWHA in New York and as Andrew Heiskell Arts Director at the American Academy in Rome, I worked to integrate poetry fully for the general public into the landscape of other literary genres (fiction, creative nonfiction, drama) and to think about it in the context of other disciplines such as music, painting, drawing and sculpture, architecture, landscape architecture, and historic preservation and conservation.

Teaching and Research Interests
  • Creative Writing Poetry workshops (undergraduate and graduate level)
  • Literary Translation
  • Prosody
  • Modernist poetry
  • Contemporary American poetry
  • Greco-Roman myth as interpreted by contemporary poets/playwrights/fiction writers
  • Poetry and the visual arts (ekphrasis)
  • Literature and warfare
Selected Publications
Work in Progress
  • Mutabor, a long poem
  • More Honor in Betrayal: the Selected Poems of Giovanni Giudici, English translations of work by the Italian poet (1924-2011)
  • A Poets’ Roman Baedeker, an anthology of poems about the sites/monuments/artworks in Rome, Italy
  • “The Watchspring of Its Tongue” and “Me Facing Every Way,” two sourcebooks (teaching anthologies) for poetry
Honors, Grants, and Awards
  • Cato Prize for Poetry (awarded by the Classics Conclave) (2016)
  • National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship (Poetry) (1995)
  • Rome Prize in Literature (1994)
  • Guggenheim Fellowship (1994)
  • Ingram Merrill Foundation Fellowship (1993)