Skip to main content Skip to navigation


In the years since his death from alcohol poisoning, San Francisco Renaissance poet Jack Spicer (1925-1965) has gradually come to be recognized as one of most intriguing, demanding, and rewarding of the so-called 'New American' poets. The Poetry of Jack Spicer is the first full-length critical monograph on his work, placing it in the context not only of the San Francisco Renaissance and contemporary movements with which Spicer dialogued and often disagreed - such as the Beats, the Black Mountain poets, and the 'New York School' - but also of the major modernists from whom his innovative poetics derived, differed, and developed. Informed by much archival material only recently made available, The Poetry of Jack Spicer examines Spicer's post-Poundian translation projects; his crucial theories of the 'serial poem' and inspiration as 'dictation'; his contrarian take on queer poetics; his insistently uncanny regionalism; and his elaboration of an epistolary poetics of interpellation and address.

My second book, American Modernism's Expatriate Scene: The Labour of Translation, explores expatriation, exoticism, multilingualism, and constructions of native and foreign in Ezra Pound, Henry James, Gertrude Stein, and Jack Spicer, among others, along with the "drive to translate" as theorized by Jean Laplanche and Antoine Berman. One of my main concerns is to show how totalizing constructions of cultural authenticity govern both exoticist mystification and nativist obsessions with cultural and linguistic "purity." In this context, cosmopolitanism, multilingualism, and translation become often eroticized tropes of violation, in consequence both courted and abhorred. This book was shortlisted for the 2008 Modernist Studies Association Book Prize.

My first book, Saying I No More: Subjectivity and Consciousness in the Prose of Samuel Beckett, explores Beckett's paradoxical expressions of "the impossibility to express" by way of deconstructive, post-phenomenological, and psychoanalytic work on the vagaries of the speaking subject, in an effort to address the implications of Beckett's prose for traditional accounts of subjectivity—a concern of criticism on Beckett since Blanchot and Adorno. While writing the book, I discovered that such an investigation can only proceed by way of consideration of Beckett's bilingualism, as well as his sense of cross-cultural semiotics generally. These concerns led directly to my more recent work, both on American modernism and on Beckett.


The Poetry of Jack Spicer. Edinburgh: Edinburgh UP, 2013.

American Modernism’s Expatriate Scene: The Labour of Translation. Edinburgh: Edinburgh UP, 2007.
(shortlisted for the 2008 Modernist Studies Association Book Prize)

Saying I No More: Subjectivity and Consciousness in the Prose of Samuel Beckett. Evanston, IL: Northwestern UP, 1999.

Articles and Chapters (selected)

"Language and Representation," in Samuel Beckett in Context, Anthony Uhlmman, editor. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2013.

"Ezra Pound's Provincial Provence: Arnaut Daniel, Gavin Douglas, and the Vulgar Tongue." Modern Language Quarterly 73.2, June 2012.

 “Where Now? A Few Reflections on Beckett, Robert Smithson, and the Local.” Samuel Beckett Today / Aujourd’hui 22: Debts and Legacies, 2010.

 “James Schuyler’s Epistolary Poetry: Postcards, Ekphrasis, Things.” Journal of Modern Literature, 2010.

“Pound and Travel: From Venice to Hell and Back,” in Ezra Pound in Context, Ira Nadel, editor. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2010.

“De l’étranger à la langue étrangère,” in Derrida d'ici, Derrida de là, Thomas Dutoit and Philippe Romanski, editors. Paris: Editions Galilée, 2009.

“What Remains of Beckett: Evasion and History” in Beckett and Phenomenology, Matthew Feldman and Ulrika Maude, editors. London: Continuum Books, 2009.

Les Archives de Krapp : Enregistrement, traduction, langue.” Samuel Beckett Today/Aujourd’hui N° 17, 2006.

“Beckett’s Absent Paris: Malone Dies, Céline, and the Modernist City.” Etudes anglaises, vol. 59, no. 1, 2006.

“Jack Spicer’s After Lorca: Translation as Decomposition.” Textual Practice, vol. 18, no. 1, Spring, 2004.

“Beckett’s Measures: Principles of Pleasure in Molloy and ‘First Love.’” Modern Fiction Studies 49.2, Summer, 2003.

“Aphoristic Patriotics: Henry James and the ‘Cosmopolite.’” La Revue française d’études américaines , No. 92, May 2002.

“Inclosing America: Susan Howe and the Heritage of Banishment,” in Les Actes du Colloque du GREAM : Heritages, Université du Maine, 2000.

“Beckett et les huit langues,” in L’Affect dans l’oeuvre beckettienne (Samuel Beckett Today/Aujourd’hui N° 10). Matthijs Engelberts, et al, eds. Amsterdam: Editions Rodopi, 2000.

“Epidemics of Enough: Beckettian Sufficiencies,” in Nihilism Now! Monsters of Energy. Diane Morgan and Keith Ansell Pearson, eds. London: Macmillan Books, 2000.

“Satin Cash: Emily Dickinson's Reserves.” Tropismes N° 9 : L'Argent comme échange symbolique, 1999.

“Mirror-Resembling Screens: Yeats, Beckett, and '. . . but the clouds . . ..',” in Samuel Beckett: The Savage Eye/L'Œil fauve (Samuel Beckett Today/Aujourd'hui N° 4). Catharina Wulf, ed. Amsterdam: Editions Rodopi, 1995.

Book Reviews

Mayhew, Jonathan. Apocryphal Lorca: Translation, Parody, Kitch, University of Chicago Press, 2009, in Hispanic Review 78.4, 2010.

Patterson, Anita. Race, American Literature, and Transnational Modernisms, Cambridge UP, 2008, in Modernism/Modernity, vol. 17, no. 2, April, 2010.

Albright, Daniel. Beckett and Aesthetics. Cambridge UP, 2003, in The Beckett Circle, vol 27, no. 2, Fall 2004.

Boulter, Jonathan. Interpreting Narrative in the Novels of Samuel Beckett, University Press of Florida, 2001, in The Beckett Circle, vol 26, no. 2, Fall 2003.

Friedman, Alan Warren, ed. Beckett in Red and Black, University Press of Kentucky, 2000, in The Beckett Circle, vol 24, no. 1, Spring 2001.

Uhlmann, Anthony. Beckett and Poststructuralism, Cambridge University Press, 1999, in The Beckett Circle, vol. 22, no. 1, Spring 2000.

Review Articles

"Writing in the Disciplinary Borderlands" (Andrew Gibson. Beckett and Badiou: The Pathos of Indeterminacy. Oxford: Oxford UP. 2006. xiii + 322 pp; Asja Szafraniec. Beckett, Derrida, and the Event of Literature. Stanford: Stanford UP, 2007. 239 pp; Anthony Uhlmann. Samuel Beckett and the Philosophical Image. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2006. viii + 191 pp., in Modern Fiction Studies) in Modern Fiction Studies 54.4, Winter, 2008.

Pilling, John ed. Beckett’s Dream Notebook. Beckett International Foundation, 1999; “Beckett/Aesthetics/Politics” (Samuel Beckett Today/Aujourd’hui 9) Editions Rodopi, 2000; Sussman, Henry, and Devenney, Christopher, eds. Engagement and Indifference: Beckett and the Political, State University of New York Press, 2001, in Textual Practice 16 (3), 2002.