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John Hollander (born October 28, 1929 in New York Citymarker) is a Jewish-Americanmarker poet and literary critic. As of 2007, he is Sterling Professor Emeritus of English at Yale Universitymarker. Previously he taught at Connecticut Collegemarker, Hunter Collegemarker, and the Graduate Center, CUNY.

Born to Jewish immigrant parents in New York, he attended Columbia University where he studied under Mark Van Doren and Lionel Trilling, and had Allen Ginsberg as one of his classmates. After graduating, he supported himself for a while writing liner notes for classical music albums before returning to obtain a Ph.D. in literature.

Hollander has been a resident of Woodbridge, Connecticutmarker since the late 1980s. He has served as a judge for several high school recitation contests, and says he enjoys working with students on their poetry and teaching it. He stresses the importance of hearing poems out loud: "A good poem satisfies the ear. It creates a story or picture that grabs you, informs you and entertains you."

He is known also for his translations from Yiddish.

Hollander usually writes his poems on a computer, but if inspiration strikes him when he's away from it, "I've been known to start poems on napkins and scraps of paper, too.

Awards and honors


  • A Crackling of Thorns (1958) poems
  • The Untuning of the Sky (1961)
  • The Wind and the Rain (1961) editor with Harold Bloom
  • Movie-Going (1962) poems
  • Philomel (1964) "cantata text" for the composition of the same name by American composer Milton Babbitt
  • Visions from the Ramble (1965) poems
  • Types of Shape (1968) poems
  • Images of Voice (1970) criticism
  • The Night Mirror (1971) poems
  • Tales Told of the Fathers (1975) poems
  • Vision and Resonance (1975) criticism
  • Reflections on Espionage (1976) poems
  • Spectral Emanations (1978) poems
  • Blue Wine (1979) poems
  • The Figure of Echo (1981) criticism
  • Rhyme's Reason: A Guide to English Verse (1981) criticism
  • Powers of Thirteen (1983) poems
  • In Time and Place (1986) poems
  • Harp Lake (1988) poems
  • Melodious Guile: Fictive Pattern in Poetic Language (1988)
  • Tesserae and Other Poems (1993)
  • Selected Poetry (1993)
  • Animal Poems (1994) poems
  • The Gazer's Spirit: Poems Speaking to Silent Works of Art (1995) criticism
  • The Work of Poetry (1997) criticism
  • Jiggery-Pokery: A Compendium of Double Dactyls (1997) with Anthony Hecht
  • Figurehead and Other Poems (1999) poems
  • Picture Window (2003)
  • The Oxford Anthology of English Literature, American Poetry: The Nineteenth Century, editor
  • Poems Bewitched and Haunted (2005) editor
  • A Draft of Light (2008), poems (due out in May)
  • Sonnets. From Dante to the present, Everyman's library pocket poets.


  1. John Hollander at NNdb
  2. Keillor, Garrison. Writer's Almanac. October 28, 2006.
  3. Boynton, Cynthia Wolfe, "Venerable Poet's Words To a Pop Music Beat", article, The New York Times, Connecticut and the Region section, February 10, 2008, p. 6
  4. STATE OF CONNECTICUT, Sites º Seals º Symbols; Connecticut State Register & Manual; retrieved on January 4, 2007

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