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Stephen Cope's Biography

Member Info

Ithaca, New York
Jan 2009

I am the editor of George Oppen: Selected Prose, Daybooks, and Papers (University of California Press, 2007), selections from which originally appeared in Jubilat, Facture, The Germ, and The Best American Poetry 2004(edited by Robert Creeley). My poems, essays, and reviews have appeared or are forthcoming in Denver Quarterly, Jacket, Postmodern Culture, The Germ, Sagetrieb, Mirage: A Period(ical), XCP: Cross-Cultural Poetics, and elsewhere. I served for years as an editor at We Press in Santa Cruz, California, where I earned a BA with Highest Honors in Modern Literary Studies in 1996 from UC Santa Cruz. I received my PhD from UC San Diego in 2005, and have since taught at UCSD, Drake University, Ohio University, and Ithaca College, as well as serving on the summer faculty of Bard College's Workshop in Language and Thinking. I will teach graduate and undergraduate courses at the University of Buffalo in Sring 2009. I am co-founder, with Eula Biss and Catherine Taylor, of Essay Press (www.essaypress.org), an imprint that publishes innovative, culturally relevant essays in book form. For many years, I hosted a public radio program called "Conference of the Birds" that featured music from Africa, Asia, the Middle-East, and the Americas. My chapbooks of poetry include Versiones Vertiges (Meow Press, 1999), and my poem “Bellerophonic Sonnet” earned a PIP-Gertrude Stein Award for Innovative Poetry in 2005. I have  received numerous grants and awards for research in American poetry archives, and given lectures, papers, and readings widely in the United States (most recently as a keynote speaker at a conference celebrating the centennial anniversary of George Oppen's birth at the University at Buffalo). I am currently completing a manuscript of poetry entitled “Bellerophonic Letters” and am at work on two critical projects, one of which addresses the ethics of ineffability in Modernist literature, and the other of which is an investigation of poetic language and/as social antagonism.


George Oppen, Ezra Pound, Ed Roberson, Susan Howe, John Keats, Ted Berrigan, Bernadette Mayer, Fanny Howe, Ibn Arabi, Theodor Adorno, Walter Banjamin, Friedrich Holderlin, Novalis, Nathaniel Mackey, Clark Coolidge, John Cage,Robert Creeley, Robert Duncan, Charles Olson, Ludwig Wittgenstein, David Antin, Jed Rasula, Sianne Ngai, Lorine Niedecker, Charles Reznikoff, Louis Zukofsky, Baudelaire, Robin Blaser, Jack Spicer, Henri Corbin, Adrienne Rich, William Everson, Ian Curtis, Cecil Taylor, Sun Ra, etc.

Upcoming Works

Bellerophonic Letters (poetry, in progress)
Negative Culpability (criticism, in progress)
Syntagonisms (criticism, in progress)


University of California Press
Meow Press/Factory School

Interests & Hobbies