Steve Cushman

Stephen Cushman

Robert C. Taylor Professor

441 Bryan Hall

Office Hours: I am happy to meet in person, indoors or outdoors, or to speak with you by phone. Please send a message to with times you are free to talk. In-person conversations Monday or Wednesday, phone conversations any other day.
Class Schedule: MW 2-3:15 and W 10-12:30.

American, Poetry


Ph.D. Yale, 1982
M.Phil. Yale, 1981
M.A. Yale, 1980
B.A. Cornell, 1978


Keep the Feast: Poems, Louisiana State University Press, 2022
The Generals' Civil War: What Their Memoirs Can Teach Us Today, University of North Carolina Press, 2021
Hothead: A Poem, Louisiana State University Press, 2018
The Red List: A Poem, Louisiana State University Press, 2014
Riffraff, Louisiana State University Press, 2011
Heart Island, David Robert Books, 2006
Cussing Lesson, Louisiana State University Press, 2002
Bloody Promenade, University of Virginia Press, 1999
Blue Pajamas, Louisiana State University Press, 1998
Fictions of Form in American Poetry, Princeton University Press, 1993
William Carlos Williams and the Meaning of Measure, Yale University Press, 1985

Edited Works

Civil War Witnesses and Their Books: New Perspectives on Iconic Works.  Ed. with Gary W. Gallagher.  Louisiana State University Press, 2021
Civil War Writing, 1866-1989: New Perspectives on Iconic Texts. Ed. with Gary W. Gallagher.  Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2019.
The Princeton Handbook of Poetic Terms, Ed. with Roland Greene, Princeton University Press, 2016
The Princeton Handbook of World Poetries, Ed. with Roland Greene, Princeton University Press, 2016
The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics, Ed. with Roland Greene et al., Princeton University Press, 2012


  • “Literary Modernism and the English Bible.” Literature and the Bible: Twentieth Century to the Present Day. Ed. Kevin Hart. Vol. 5 of Literature and the Bible.  Ed. Stephen Prickett. 5 vols. London: Bloomsbury (forthcoming).
  • “John Muir’s Thoreau.” Literary Imagination 25, 2 (2023).
  • “Poetry in the Public Square,” A Companion to American Poetry, ed. Mary McAleer Balkun, Jeffrey Gray, Paul Jaussen (Chichester, West Sussex: John Wiley and Sons, 2022).
  • "The Man with the Charles Wright Banjo."  Literary Imagination 22, 2 (2020).
  • “Lincoln Teaches Grant to Write.” Critical Insights: Abraham Lincoln.  Ed. Robert C. Evans. Amenia, NY: Salem Press, 2020.
  • "Walt Whitman's Bedside Manners," Verso: The Blog of the Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens (December 2019).
  • “Sherman at the Plaza.”  Civil War Places: Historians Reflect on Where They Visit and What They See. Ed. Gary W. Gallagher and J. Matthew Gallman.  Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2019.
  • “Surrender According to Johnston and Sherman.” Civil War Writing, 1866-1989: New Perspectives on Primary Texts. Ed. Gary W. Gallagher and Stephen Cushman.  Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2019.
  • “After Great Pain, Dickinson in Charlottesville.”  Literary Imagination. October 30, 2018.
  • “Sheridan’s Personal Memoirs and the Appomattox Campaign.” Petersburg to Appomattox: The End of the War in Virginia. Ed. Caroline E. Janney. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2018.
  • “Pope Francis, Laudato Si’, and U. S. Environmentalism.” Co-authored with Jonathan Z. Cannon. William and Mary Environmental Law and Policy Review 42, 1 (Fall 2017).
  • "The Strange Case of Dr. Stevenson and Mr. Thoreau." Southwest Review 102, 1 (2017).
  • “The Battle of the Crater in Recent Fiction.”  Cold Harbor to the Crater: The End of the Overland Campaign. Ed. Gary W. Gallagher and Caroline E. Janney.  Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2015.
  • “‘A Harvest of Death.’” Lens of War, ed. J. Matthew Gallman and Gary W. Gallagher.  Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2015.
  • "On Middlebrow Formalism, or the Fallacy of Imitative Form Revisited," Southwest Review, 99, 4 (2014).
  • "Ambrose Bierce, Chickamauga, and Ways to Write History." Gateway to the Confederacy: New Perspectives on the Chickamauga and Chattanooga Campaigns, 1862-1863.  Ed. Evan C. Jones and Wiley Sword.  Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2014.
  • "When Lincoln Met Emerson," Journal of the Civil War Era, 3, 2 (June, 2013).
  • "The Gettysburg Address and the Second Inaugural."  Cambridge Companion to Abraham Lincoln.  Ed. Shirley Samuels.  New York: Cambridge UP, 2012.
  • "Transcendental Poetics."  Cambridge Companion to Nineteenth-Century American Poetry.  Ed. Kerry Larson.  Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 20011.
  • "Surrender at Appomattox." Encyclopedia Virginia. Ed. Brendan Wolfe. 9 May. 2011. Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. 9 May. 2011.
  • "Why Didn't Hemingway Mention This Crater?" Southwest Review 94, 4 (2009).
  • “The Ambidexterity of Lucinda Roy.”  Multiformalisms.  Ed. Annie Finch and Susan Schultz.  Cincinnati: David Robert Books, 2009.
  • "Walt Whitman's Real Wars." Wars Within a War: Controversy and Conflict Over the American Civil War.  Ed. Gary Gallagher and Joan Waugh.  Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2009.
  • “Five from the Fifties.”  Thinking of Reading.  Ed. Jessica Feldman and Robert Stilling.  Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2008.
  • “In the Key of Kora in Hell,” Cue: A Journal of Prose Poetry 4, 2 (Summer 2007): 33-38.
  • "Perpetual Calendar." Southwest Review 92, 1 (2007).
  • "Speaking of Alaska." Virginia Environmental Law Journal 24, 3 (2005).
  • "American Literary Mirrors," American Mirrors: (Self) Reflections and (Self) Distortions, ed. Felisa Lopez Liquete (Bilbao: University of the Basque Country Press, 2005).
  • "Whitman and Patriotism." Virginia Quarterly Review, 81, 2 (Spring 2005).
  • "Hart Crane's Felicitous Juggling," Meridian, 15 (Spring/Summer 2005).
  • "'The Descent of Winter' and the Poetry of the Calendar" in Rigor of Beauty: Essays in Commemoration of William Carlos Williams.  Ed. Ian D. Copestake.  Bern: Peter Lang, 2004.
  • Introduction to B. A. Botkin's A Civil War Treasury of Tales, Legends and Folklore. Bison Books edition. Lincoln: U Nebraska P, 2001.
  • "Poems of the Civil War, Past and Present." Value and Vision in American Literature: Literary Essays in Honor of Ray Lewis White. Ed. Joseph Candido, Athens: Ohio UP, 2000.
  • "Buff, as in Civil War." Virginia Quarterly Review 75,4 (Autumn 1999).
  • With Stephen Arata, Clare Kinney, et al. "Fit Teachers Though Few." Preparing a Nation's Teachers. New York: MLA, 1999.
  • "Pray Without Ceasing' and the Postmodern Canon," Complexities of Motion: A.R. Ammons's Longer Poems (1999).
  • "A. R. Ammons, or the Rigid Lines of the Free and Easy," Critical Essays on A. R. Ammons (1997).
  • "The Literature and Medicine Movement: The Case of William Carlos Williams, M.D," Pharos (1996).
  • "And the Dove Returned," Callaloo 19, 1 (1996).
  • "A Teacher's Attention," Teaching Resource Center Occasional Paper No. 1. Charlottesville: University of Virginia, 1995.
  • "Make New Professors, But Keep the Old," New Literary History 26, 3 (Summer 1995).
  • "The Capabilities of Charles Wright," The Point Where All Things Meet: Essays on Charles Wright (1995).
  • "The Differing Impulses of William Carlos Williams," American Literary History (1991).


  • Rogers Distinguished Fellow in 19th-Century American History, Huntington Library, 2019-20
  • State Council of Higher Education for Virginia Outstanding Faculty Award, 2015
  • Cavaliers' Distinguished Teaching Professor, 2014-2016
  • Fellow, Virginia Center for the Humanities, 1997
  • Mayo Distinguished Teaching Professor, 1994-1997
  • Fulbright Lecturer, Greece, 1993
  • All-University Teaching Award, 1992
  • Fellow, American Council of Learned Societies, 1986-1987