Steinman to Explore ‘What Poetry Is Good For’

steinman imageLisa Steinman, Kenan Professor of English and the Humanities, has been awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship, the second in her career. The new $40,000 NEH grant will support her work on a book about contemporary American poetry (1950s to present). Steinman will be on leave during the 2006–07 academic year, and will also receive support through Reed’s paid-leave program.

Steinman describes her upcoming book as a sociology of contemporary poetry and its readers. “I’m less interested in what the poems are about, than in the ways in which different kinds of poetry work in and for different communities of readers,” she says. “I’m trying to answer the larger question of what poetry is good for, by asking what a variety of contemporary poets say poems offer readers, and what various readers say they find in poetry.” Steinman has previously published seven books, including four original works of poetry, a chap book of poetry, and two poetry studies.