From February, 2016

Wallace Stevens: A Dual Life as Poet and Insurance Executive.

wallace-stevens-biographyAlison Johnson

Topsham: Cumberland Press, 2012

Alison Johnson has just published a new biography of Wallace Stevens. John N. Serio says of it, “Wallace Stevens: A Dual Life as Poet and Insurance Executive will reward both the well-seasoned aficionado and the novice. Those familiar with Stevens’s life will enjoy the fine synthesis that Johnson presents as well as be challenged by some of her provocative analyses. Those unfamiliar with Stevens’s life now have a compact and lively narrative of one of the most significant, yet mysterious, poets of the twentieth century.”

For more information on the book, visit

Past Events

(Containing events since 2011 only)

Past Events:

American Literature Assocation Conference

Session: Stevens and Cognition
Chair: Michael Manson, American University

1. “‘On the edge of space.’: The Mental Imaging of Unimaginable Spaces in Late Stevens.” Claes Lindskog, Lund University, Sweden

2. “‘The Eye’s Plain Version’: Wallace Stevens and the Anatomical Prejudices of Perception.” Deric Corlew, independent researcher

3. “Metrical Perceptions–Wallace Stevens’ Rhythmic Ambiguities and the Mind.” Natalie Gerber, State University of New York, Fredonia; Nicholas Myklebust, University of Texas, Austin

“Theorizing Aspects of Value: Wallace Stevens and Charles Altieri”

The Louisville Conference on Literature and Culture since 1900
(Louisville, KY; Feb. 20-22, 2014)

1) Jeffrey Blevins, University of California, Berkeley (presenter and panel organizer)
2) Allen Dunn, University of Tennessee, Knoxville (presenter)
3) Edward Alexander, University of California, Berkeley (presenter)
4) Barrett Watten, Wayne State University (presenter)

“Theorizing Aspects of Value: Wallace Stevens and Charles Altieri”

The Louisville Conference on Literature and Culture since 1900
(Louisville, KY; Feb. 20-22, 2014)

1) Jeffrey Blevins, University of California, Berkeley (presenter and panel organizer)
2) Allen Dunn, University of Tennessee, Knoxville (presenter)
3) Edward Alexander, University of California, Berkeley (presenter)
4) Barrett Watten, Wayne State University (presenter)

“Helen Vendler’s Wallace Stevens”

Modern Language Association Conference
(Chicago, IL; Jan. 9-12, 2014)
Chairs and organizers: Lisa Goldfarb, NYU, and Bart Eeckhout, University of Antwerp, Belgium

1. Stephen Burt, Harvard University
2. Alan Filreis, University of Pennsylvania
3. John L. Koethe, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
4. Siobhan Phillips, Dickinson College
5. Juliette Utard, University of Paris IV-Sorbonne

This roundtable will be a momentous occasion for Vendler’s peers to reflect upon her importance to their own scholarship as well as Stevens studies writ large. Speakers will consider the ways that Vendler has shaped Stevens criticism, her approach to particular poems or types of work (such as the long poem), the debates that her readings and approach have kindled, and her consideration of Stevens in relation to other poets (e.g., Keats and Yeats).

The Eighteenth Annual
Wallace Stevens Birthday Bash
Sunday, November 3, 2013, 2:00pm
Hartford Public Library

Guest Speaker

“Traveling with Wallace Stevens”

Home from Guatemala, back at the Waldorf.
This arrival in the wild country of the soul…
—Wallace Stevens

Bonnie Costello is Professor of English at Boston University and the author of books and articles on Marianne Moore, Elizabeth Bishop, and many other modern and contemporary poets. Her most recent books are Shifting Ground: Reinventing Landscape in Modern American Poetry (Harvard UP 2003) and Planets on Tables: Poetry, Still Life and the Turning World (Cornell UP 2008) both include chapters on Wallace Stevens. She is currently writing Private Faces in Public Places: Auden and Others in the First Person Plural. Costello also writes about art and travel. She has won Guggenheim, Cullman and ACLS awards, and is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

This festive and illuminating event will begin with a reception of wine and hors d’oeuvres, followed by Professor Costello’s presentation, and conclude with a book signing, birthday cake and champagne! Mark your calendar. Tickets ($50 per person) will be available in September.

Hartford Public Library
500 Main Street
Hartford, CT 06103

For more information, contact—

Jim Finnegan

This event is presented by Hartford Public Library (
and the Friends and Enemies of Wallace Stevens (

American Literature Association

Boston, MA; May 23-27, 2013

Stevens’ Letters and Poems
Chair and organizer: Angus Cleghorn, Seneca College, Toronto
1. George Lensing, University of North Carolina, “Wallace Stevens and Stevens T. Mason: An Epistolary Exchange on Poetic Meaning”
2. Laura Hartmann, Northeastern University, “In Light of a Letter: Wallace Stevens’ ‘The Men That Are Falling’ and the Spanish Civil War”
3. Gillian White, University of Michigan, “Pleasing Others in Letters: Bernadette Mayer’s Identification with Epistolary Wallace Stevens”

Louisville Conference on Literature

& Culture since 1900

Louisville, KY; Feb. 21-23, 2013

Wallace Stevens and Material Culture
Chair and organizer: Kathy Kirk, University of Kent

1. “Is and As Are One”: Professor Eucalyptus and the Material Culture of the late 1940’s; Von
Underwood, Cameron University

2. “A Rock and a Hard Place”; Holly Gallagher, University of Melbourne

3. Line for Line: The Decorative Aesthetic of Henri Matisse and Wallace Stevens; John
Morgenstern, Clemson University

Modern Language Association Convention

Boston, MA; Jan. 3-6, 2013

Stevens and/or Auden: Whose Age?
Organizer and Chair: Bart Eeckhout, University of Antwerp, Belgium

Roundtable Participants: Charles Altieri, UC Berkeley; Bonnie Costello, Boston University; Rachel Galvin, Princeton University; Lisa Goldfarb, NYU/Gallatin; Edward Ragg, Tshingua University; and Aidan Wasley, University of Georgia

This roundtable seeks to examine the two poets side-by-side and from a variety of angles: in relation to their aesthetics and critical essays, their poetic practice in terms of form and shared themes and interests (nature vs. city; the poet in history; visual and painterly poems; the relationship between music and poetry; poetry and belief), and, finally, the kinds of influence they exerted on postwar American poetry.


The Louisville Conference on Literature and Culture since 1900 (Louisville, KY)

Feb. 23-25, 2012

Wallace Stevens and the New York School

Organizer and Chair: Josh Schneiderman, CUNY Graduate Center

1. “Wallace Stevens, Barbara Guest, and the ‘New York School’ in the Distance”
-David Jarraway, University of Ottawa

2. “Ashbery, Stevens, and the Politics of Abstraction” -Rachel Galvin, Princeton University

3. “From Symbol to Sound” -Michael Clune, Case Western Reserve University

-Andrew Epstein, Florida State University

MLA 2012

Seattle, WA; Jan. 5-8, 2012

21st Century Stevens: Modernism and Its Aftermaths

Co-chairs: Edward Ragg (Tsinghua University) and Lee Jenkins (University College Cork)

1. “Flying Out of Sight? How the Critical Paradigms of World Literature and Genetic Criticism Affect Stevens’ Place within the Modernist Canon”
Bart Eeckhout, University of Antwerp

2. “Re-Examining Wallace Stevens in a Time of War”
Rachel Galvin, Princeton University

3. “Of Critics and Connoisseurs: Historicism and Stevens’ Place in American Literary History”
Patrick Redding, Manhattanville College

4. “Meditations on the Authoritarian Character: Stevens and Fascism”
Jill Richards, University of California, Berkeley


American Literature Association

Boston, MA; May 28th, 2011

Session 17-C: Wallace Stevens and the Everyday: A Roundtable

Moderator: Liesl Olson, The Newberry Library

1. “Vaguely Philosophical.” Megan Quigley, Villanova University

2. “Aspects of Particulars: Seeing as in The Rock.” Charles Altieri, University of California, Berkeley

3. “Stevens, Schuyler, and an Ordinary New York School.” Siobhan Phillips, Harvard University

4. “Stevens and the Every Other Day.” Kamran Javadizadeh, Connecticut College

5. “Vital, Arrogant, Fatal, Dominant.” Oren Izenberg, University of Illinois at Chicago



The 48th Annual Wallace Stevens Poetry Program featuring August Kleinzahler will take place on Tuesday, April 19 at 8 p.m. at the Konover Auditorium of the Dodd Center, University of Connecticut, Storrs.