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

  • "'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 In analyzing a cross-section of literary and popular poets as well as unpublished soldier-poets, I examine these writers' conflicting responses to poetry's political aims, demonstrating that poetry plays a vital role in helping to define new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.
  • 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.
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.