Stephen M. Kellen Distinguished Visitor - Class of Spring 2006
Poet and Porter University Professor, Harvard University
Helen Vendler is the A. Kingsley Porter University Professor at Harvard, where she received her Ph.D. in English and American Literature in 1960. Before beginning to teach at Harvard, she taught at Cornell, Swarthmore, Haverford, Smith, and Boston University. She has held many fellowships (Guggenheim, Wilson, APS, NEH, etc.) and is a member of the American Philosophical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Swedish Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Modern Language Association (of which she was President in 1980). She holds 24 honorary degrees from universities and colleges in America as well as in England (Cambridge), Ireland (National University of Ireland and Trinity College), and Norway (Oslo). She has written books on Yeats, Herbert, Keats, Stevens, Shakespeare, and Heaney, and a new book, Invisible Listeners: Herbert, Whitman, Ashbery. She also reviews contemporary poetry for the New Republic, the London Review of Books, and other journals, and she lectures widely, both in the United States and abroad.
Our Secret Discipline: Yeats and Lyric Form (Harvard University Press, 2007) Last Looks, Last Books: Stevens, Plath, Lowell, Bishop, Merrill (Forthcoming from Princeton University Press, 2010)