James Richardson (poet)

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James Richardson (born January 1, 1950) is an American poet.

Career & Education

James Richardson is an American poet and critic. He is Professor of English & Creative Writing at Princeton University, where he has taught since 1980.[1] He grew up in Garden City, New York and attended Princeton University, graduating summa cum laude in 1971. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Virginia in 1975.

Richardson is the author of several collections of poetry, criticism, and aphorisms, and has been awarded or nominated for some of the top awards in American literature, including the Jackson Poetry Prize, the National Book Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award.

His work has appeared in multiple editions of The Best American Poetry, and in publications including The New Yorker, Paris Review, and Slate.



Poetry collections


  • Richardson, James (2001). Vectors: Aphorisms and Ten-Second Essays. Ausable Press. ISBN 978-0-9672668-8-6.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (2013). "Vectors 3.1 : aphorisms and ten second essays". In Henderson, Bill. The Pushcart Prize XXXVII : best of the small presses 2013. Pushcart Press. pp. 542–546.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> [2]


  • Richardson, James (1977). Thomas Hardy : The Poetry of Necessity. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-71237-6.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (1988). Vanishing Lives : Tennyson, Rossetti, Swinburne and Yeats. University of Virginia Press. ISBN 978-0-8139-1165-6.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

Appearances in Anthologies

  • Best American Poetry 2001. Simon and Schuster. 2001. ISBN 978-0-7432-0384-5.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Paul Muldoon, David Lehman, eds. (2005). "All the Ghosts". The Best American Poetry 2005. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 978-0-7432-5758-9. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Harold Bloom, Jesse Zuba, eds. (2006). American religious poems: an anthology. Library of America. ISBN 978-1-931082-74-7. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • David Lehman, ed. (2003). Great American prose poems: from Poe to the present. Scribner Poetry. ISBN 978-0-7432-2989-0.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • James Geary (2007). Geary's Guide to the World's Great Aphorists. Bloomsbury USA. ISBN 978-1-59691-252-6.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>


James Richardson became an academic and a poet by the usual means, but he is, by his own admission, an accidental aphorist. He regarded Vectors (2001), his book of five hundred aphorisms and “ten-second essays,” during its construction as “often… more as a questionable habit than as a book in progress.” The book became a cult favorite almost immediately.[3]

It is easy to see why some would call James Richardson a “nature poet”; not only do his poems, and especially his early ones, draw on fairly common images and the phenomena of the physical world, he also shows a likeably human relationship to his environment, the kind we tend to imagine Wordsworth had—this work is feeling and respectful, written very much from open-minded observation and experience.[4]


External links