Calls for Papers

  • Modern Language Association Annual Convention: “Wallace Stevens and Contemporary Poetry.” (Philadelphia, January 4-7, 2024.)

In a 2016 essay for, Dean Rader called Wallace Stevens the “invisible priest” of contemporary poetry, noting that his pervasive influence has left many late 20th and 21st century poets with “two choices: take Stevens on or take Stevens in.” Indeed, contemporary poetry is riddled with such straightforward responses and no doubt many more nuanced ones, too. While Anne Waldman has, for instance, rapturously compared an early experience of hearing Stevens read aloud to Allen Ginsberg’s infamous Blakean visions and has likened her own verse to ‘ghostlier demarcations’ after “The Idea of Order at Key West,” Terrance Hayes has sought to adopt the elder poet’s imaginative spirit while simultaneously confronting his racism in poems like “A High-Toned Old Christian Woman” or “Snow for Wallace Stevens.” Bearing these representative responses, and Rader’s more general pronouncement in mind, this 2024 MLA panel seeks to explore a broad range of connections between Wallace Stevens and contemporary poetry. We invite papers that investigate how younger writers have contended with, channeled, and/or challenged Stevens’ formative, and enduring, poetic legacy.

Please send abstracts of 150 words to Alexandra Gold at
Abstracts should be sent by March 1, 2023.