David S Gewanter




(On leave Spring 2017)


Department of English
General profile


+1 202-687-7582






David Gewanter is author of three books of poetry: In the Belly (1997), The Sleep of Reason (2003), and War Bird (Fall 2009) all published by the University of Chicago Press; and co-editor, with Frank Bidart, of Robert Lowell: Collected Poems (Farrar Straus, & Giroux, Faber & Faber, 2003; paperback, 2007). The Lowell poems and notes were adapted for Robert Lowell: Selected Poems, Expanded Edition (Farrar Straus, & Giroux, 2007).

He earned a B.A. in Intellectual History from the University of Michigan, an M.A. and Ph.D. in English at U.C. Berkeley, and then ran writing programs at Harvard.

His work appears in Threepenny Review, Poetry Magazine, Boston Review, TriQuarterly, New England Review, Fulcrum, Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, Tikkun, Slate.com, Harvard Review, PoetryMagazine.com, Crossroads, Boston Globe, Semicerchio (Italy), PMLA, and elsewhere; and has been anthologized in Handbook of Heartbreak, The National Poetry Competition, Arvon (UK), Literature, The Bread Loaf Anthology, New Voices (Academy of American Poets), The Hell with Love, Beltway.com, and elsewhere.

Book awards: the John C. Zacharis first book prize, Ploughshares (for In the Belly); finalist, James Laughlin Award, American Academy of Poets (for The Sleep of Reason); the Ambassador Book Award, English Speaking Union - US, and the Contemporary Poetry Review “Book of the Year” (for Robert Lowell: Collected Poems). Other awards include: the Whiting Emerging Writer's Award; the Witter Bynner Fellowship, (US Library of Congress); the Hopwood Essay Prize (Michigan); Eisner Prizes, Academy of American Poets prizes, (Berkeley); Levinson Teaching Award (Harvard).

He has been a fellow at the Bread Loaf Writer's conference; resident faculty at Georgetown’s Villa Le Balze; exchange scholar at the University of Florence; and visiting writer at the University of Lodz (Poland).

Present projects: contemporary writers face the Ashmole Bestiary (anthology); Identity Poetics (book of essays); and Native Lands: Contemporary American Indian Story & Performance (documentary DVD).


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  • Ph.D. (1991) University of California, Berkeley, English
  • M.A. (1986) University of California, Berkeley, English, Emphasis in Creative Writing
  • B.A. (1980) University of Michigan, Honors College, Intellectual History