James Merrill (1926-1995)

A selective list of online literary criticism for poet James Merrill, favoring signed articles by recognized scholars, articles published in reviewed sources, and web sites that adhere to the MLA Guidelines for Web Sites


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introduction

"James Merrill." An introduction to James Merrill, with articles and excerpts of reputable critical discussions on James Merrill's Life, Merrill's Language (On the Use of the Pun), on "An Urban Convalescence," on "The Broken Home," on "Lost in Translation," on "The Willowware Cup," "Replacing the Waste Land--James Merrill's Quest for Transcendent Authority," Merrill in Correspondence. Modern American Poetry (U of Illinois). Eds. Ryan Cull and Edward Brunner.

"James Merrill." An encyclopedia-type article on James Merrill, which helpfully notes Helen Vendler's remark that Merrill's best poems "are autobiographical without being 'confessional': they show none of that urgency to reveal the untellable or unspeakable that we associate with the poetry we call 'confessional.'" Poetry Foundation.

"James Merrill." A brief introduction to James Merrill. Also "James Merrill: The Spellbinding Musical Line," on Merrill's interest in music, and Great Anthology: Gay and Lesbian Poetry in Our Time, with links to other gay and lesbian poets. The Academy of American Poets.

"James Merrill: A Life in Writing." Transcript of a 1994 panel discussion of Merrill's poetry with participants Helen Vendler, Richard Kenney, Rachel Hadas, and Stephen Yenser.

Burt, Stephen. "Becoming Literature: On James Merrill's poetry of autobiography and social comedy," Boston Review, Summer 2001.

Materer, Timothy. "James Merrill." A substantial introduction to James Merrill from the Literary Encyclopedia, 17 February 2005 [subscription service].

Simic, Charles. "Miraculous Mandarin." A review of Merrill's Collected Poems. The NY Review of Books, April 12, 2001.

"Review of Collected Poems James Merrill." From his publisher, Random House.

The James Merrill House in Stonington, Conn., and information on its writers-in-residence program.


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