Contact Information



Ph.D., Comparative Literature, University of California, Berkeley, 2000
M.F.A., Poetry, University of Iowa, 1993
M.A., Comparative Literature, University of California, Berkeley, 1990
B.A., Comparative Literature, Swarthmore College, 1987

Courses, Publications and Honors/Awards

My teaching fields include American poetry of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, American Civil War culture, nineteenth-century American studies, early American literature, and creative writing/poetry.


My past research has included two projects focused on American Civil War Poetry: To Fight Aloud Is Very Brave American Poetry and the Civil War (University of Massachusetts, 2012) and Words for the Hour: A New Anthology of American Civil War Poetry, coedited with Cristanne Miller (University of Massachusetts, 2005).
I am currently working on a second book project that focuses on local poetry culture in the mid-nineteenth century, considering how self-educated writers use the reading, collecting, and writing of poetry to establish political communities and to protest both slavery and limitations in women's legal rights.

Books & Articles

"'What Witty Sally': Phoebe Cary's Poetics of Parody." A History of Nineteenth-Century American Women's Poetry. Eds. Jennifer Putzi and Alexandra Socarides. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2016. 203-218.

"'Naked Genius': The Civil War Poems of George Moses Horton." The Literary Cultures of the American Civil War. Ed. Timothy Sweet. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2016. 77-96.

"Constituting Communities: Reading the Civil War in Poetry and Song." Approaches to Teaching the Civil War. Ed. Colleen Boggs. New York: Modern Language Association, 2016.71-80.

"Imitation and Resistance in Civil War Poetry and Song." A History of American Civil War Literature. Ed. Coleman Hutchison. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2015. 96-118.

"American Poetry Fights the Civil War." Eds. Alfred Bendixen and Stephen Burt. Cambridge History of American Poetry. London: Cambridge University Press, 2014. 306-328.

"Emily Dickinson, Slavery, and the Civil War." Emily Dickinson in Context. Eliza Richards, ed. London: Cambridge University Press, 2013. 206-215.

"To Fight Aloud Is Very Brave": American Poetry and the Civil War. My first book examines how poets define their allegiances to the nation in the Civil War era. In analyzing a cross-section of literary and popular poets as well as unpublished soldier-poets, I examine these writers' conflicting responses to poetry's political aims, demonstrating that poetry plays a vital role in helping to define new versions of American identity. University of Massachusetts Press, 2012.

"Abraham Lincoln and Poetry." Cambridge Companion to Abraham Lincoln. Shirley Samuels, ed. London: Cambridge University Press, 2012. 22-39.

"'Drums off the Phantom Battlements': Dickinson's War Poems in Discursive Context." Emily Dickinson Companion. Mary Loeffelholz and Martha Nell Smith, eds. Oxford: Blackwell, 2008. 107-132.

"'They answered him aloud': Popular Voice and Nationalist Discourse in Melville's Battle-Pieces." Leviathan: A Journal of Melville Studies 9 (2007): 35-49.

Review essay: "Public Selves and Private Spheres: Studies of Emily Dickinson and the Civil War, 1984-2007." Emily Dickinson Journal 16.1 (2007): 92-104.

"Words for the Hour": A New Anthology of American Civil War Poetry. An anthology co-edited with Cristanne Miller for which I wrote the introductory essay. Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press, 2005.

"Addresses to a Divided Nation: Images of War in Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman." Arizona Quarterly 61.4 (Winter 2005): 67-99.

"Inclusion and Exclusion: Fictions of Self and Nation in Whitman and Dickinson." Emily Dickinson Journal 5.2 (1996): 240-46.

Honors & Awards

Maine Women Writer's Collection travel grant, University of New England, August 2014.

American Antiquarian Society fellowship, Worcester, MA, May 2014.

National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship, part of the "We the People" initiative, January-February 2007.

American Antiquarian Society fellowship, Worcester, MA, September 2006.

Young Teacher Award, an award for excellence in teaching given to one junior faculty member each year. Lawrence University, Spring 2006.

W. M. Keck and Fletcher Jones Foundation Fellow, Huntington Library, San Marino, April-May 2003.

Fulbright scholarship to West Germany, 1987-88.