Archive, Awards, Literature, Poetry

Marjorie Perloff, American Philosopher

The University of Chicago Press extends its congratulations to our own Unoriginal Genius Marjorie Perloff—whose astute exploits in literary theory, criticism of twentieth- and twenty-first-century poetics, and consideration of the visual arts we’ve blogged about before, now and again. Why raise another glass to Marjorie?

Well, the American Philosophical Society—the nation’s oldest and most esteemed scholarly organization (founded in 1743)—whose mission is to “promote useful knowledge in the sciences and humanities through excellence in scholarly research, professional meetings, publications, library resources, and community outreach,” just called her a member. Among her cohort of those inducted with distinction in the humanities? Mary Beard, Marjorie Graber, Wu Hung, Rosalind Krauss, Brent D. Shaw, and Salvatore Settis, in a class of 2012 inductees that extended its reach through the arts and public affairs (along with the physical, natural, and social sciences) to include such luminaries as Jill Abramson, William Kentridge, Cormac McCarthy, Gerhard Richter, and Richard Serra.

We’ve been lucky enough to shepherd several of Perloff’s books into publication, and though the list only reflects a portion of her overwhelming scholarship, it’s nothing to shake a stick at. Radical Artifice: Writing Poetry in the Age of Media, John Cage: Composed in America, Frank O’Hara: Poet among Painters, Wittgenstein’s Ladder: Poetic Language and the Strangeness of the Ordinary, The Futurist Moment: Avant-Garde, Avant Guerre, and the Language of Rupture, The Sound of Poetry/The Poetry of Sound, and Unoriginal Genius: Poetry by Other Means in the New Century are all typical Perloff: comparatist and complex, her works have long broken new ground in our understanding of serious and experimental aesthetics, both before and after the postmodern moment, but never at the expense of readability and Perloff’s genuine delight in art and language.

We couldn’t be more thrilled to her about her achievement and the company she’ll keep. Cheers to Marjorie!