John Berryman (1914-1972)

A selective list of online literary criticism for American poet John Berryman, favoring signed articles by recognized scholars and articles in peer-reviewed sources

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introduction & biography

"John Berryman." An introduction to John Berryman, includes biography and excerpts from important critical discussions of some of his best known poems: On The Dream Songs; On "Dream Song 1"; On "Dream Song 4"; On "Dream Song 5"; On "Dream Song 14"; On "Dream Song 22"; On "Dream Song 29"; On "Dream Song 45"; On "Dream Song 46"; On "Dream Song 55"; On "Dream Song 76"; On "Dream Song 384"; On "Negro Minstrelsy" in The Dream Songs. Modern American Poetry, Univ. of Illinois. Eds. Edward Brunner and Cary Nelson.

"John Berryman." An introduction to Berryman. Also "A Brief Guide to Confessional Poetry" and "Life Studies." A succinct summary of modern American poetry discusses John Berryman's importance. Academy of American Poets.

Smith, Ernest J. "John Berryman." A substantial introduction to John Berryman. 7 July 2001 Literary Encyclopedia. Eds. Robert Clark, Emory Elliott, Janet Todd [subscription service].

"Hold the Audience: A Brief Memoir of John Berryman." Laurence Lieberman recalls his difficulties getting Berryman out of a bar and to a reading in 1969. WebdelSol.

Wojahn, David. "'In All Them Time Henry Could Not Make Good.'" Personal reflections on the rise and fall of poets' reputations, particularly Berryman's. Blackbird 4, 2 (Fall 2005).

"Master Poets Pay Homage to Berryman." Brief news article on a 1997 reading at Columbia in John Berryman's honor. Columbia University Record.

"John Berryman." A short biography of John Berryman. Poetry Foundation.

literary criticism

Dawe, Gerald. "John Berryman: Fatal Attractions." The Poetry Ireland Review 82 (2005) pp 72-76 [free at jstor].

Haffenden, John. "A Year on the East Coast: John Berryman, 1962-63." Twentieth Century Literature 22, 2 (May 1976) pp 129-45 [free at jstor].

Mancini, Joseph, Jr. "A Hearing Aid for Berryman's 'Dream Songs.'" Modern Language Studies 10, 1 (Winter 1979-1980) [free at jstor].

Mariani, Paul. "'My Heavy Daughter': John Berryman and the Making of 'The Dream Songs.'" The Kenyon Review 10, 3 (Summer 1988) pp 1-30 [free at jstor].

Provost, Sarah. "Erato's Fool and Bitter Sister: Two Aspects of John Berryman." Twentieth Century Literature 30, 1 (Spring 1984) [free at jstor].

Siegel, Muffy E.A. "'The Original Crime': John Berryman's Iconic Grammar." Poetics Today 2, 1 Roman Jakobson: Language and Poetry (Autumn, 1980) [preview or purchase].

Young, Kevin. "Responsible Delight: Reevaluation: John Berryman." The Kenyon Review 21, 2 (Spring 1999) pp 160-69 [free at jstor].

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