Calls for Papers

Wallace Stevens and Short Literary Forms (MLA 2022).

The Wallace Stevens Society invites papers for a panel on “Wallace Stevens and Short Literary Forms” at the Modern Language Association (MLA) in Washington, D.C., January 6-9 2022.

In a letter to Thomas McGreevy, Wallace Stevens confesses to finding short poems more difficult to write than longer ones. While a long poem “acquires an impetus of its own,” Stevens notes that “with each short poem one is making a fresh start.” What sorts of difficulties and unexpected delights lie in short verse forms for Stevens? And what might we learn about his craft from examining his miniatures in more careful detail?

Abstracts are invited on any topic related to short poetic forms in Stevens, including:

  • epigrams
  • light verse
  • fables
  • sonnets
  • seasonal poems
  • collections of short verse (in magazines, in book form, etc.)

As well as genres and modes not limited to verse:

  • marginalia
  • notes and letters
  • aphorisms and commonplace books (including the Adagia)
  • the influence of other ‘miniaturists’ on Stevens, from Keats to the French symbolists to Japanese haiku poets
  • principles of brevity, compression, diminishment, or simplicity as articulated in Stevens’ prose

Please send notes of interest or abstracts of up to 300 words to Diana Leca at the University of Oxford ( by April 8.