Albert Gelpi

Coe Professor of American Literature, Emeritus
Ph.D., Harvard University, 1962
M.A., Tulane University, 1956
A.B., Loyola University (New Orleans), 1951
Albert Gelpi
At Stanford Since: 1968


From 1968 through 2002 Albert Gelpi taught American literature, particularly American poetry, from its Puritan beginnings to the present day. As a student of Perry Miller at Harvard, he became interested in the intellectual backgrounds of literary expression, and he has become increasingly interested in the connections between American letters and American painting. He also teaches Southern writing. Gelpi has written Emily Dickinson: The Mind of the Poet (1965) and The Tenth Muse: The Psyche of the American Poet (1975), the first volume of a study of the American poetic tradition. The Tenth Muse centers on American Romantic poetry; its sequel, A Coherent Splendor: The American Poetic Renaissance 1910-1950 (1987), continues the historical argument by relating American Modernist poetry to its Romantic antecedents. Gelpi has edited The Poet in America, 1650 to the Present, Wallace Stevens: The Poetics of Modernism, Denise Levertov: Selected Criticism, The Blood of the Poet: Selected Poems of William Everson, and (with Barbara Charlesworth Gelpi) Adrienne Rich's Poetry and Prose. He was founding editor of Cambridge Studies in American Literature and Culture, published by Cambridge University Press and has served as Associate Dean of Graduate Studies, Chairman of the American Studies Program, and Chairman of the English Department. He received the Dean's Award for Distinguished Teaching in 1996. Living in Time: The Poetry of C. Day Lewis was published in 1998. With Robert Bertholf he edited The Letters of Robert Duncan and Denise Levertov (2004) and the collection of essays, Robert Duncan and Denise levertov: The Poetry of Politics, the Politics of Poetry (2006). His next project is the third volume of his history of American poetry, Postmodernism and Neoromanticism: American Poetry since 1950.