Poirier, Richard.

Alternative names
Birth 1925-09-09
Death 2009-08-15

Biographical notes:

Correspondence and writings of American professor, editor, and scholar of literature and popular culture, Richard Poirier.

From the description of Richard Poirier Collection, 1945-2007 [Bulk Dates: 1986-2007]. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 733728372

BIOGHIST REQUIRED Richard Poirier, an American literary and cultural critic, professor of literature, and founder of Raritan: A Quarterly Review, was born September 9, 1925 in Gloucester Massachusetts. Poirier served in the Army during World War II, and upon returning from combat enrolled in Amherst College where he earned his B.A. He continued his studies in literature first at Yale where he earned his MA, and later at Harvard where he received a PhD in 1960.

Poirier taught at Harvard from 1958-1963, but he spent the majority academic career at Rutgers University where he was a prominent member and sometimes Chair of the English Department from 1963-2002.

Richard Poirier was not only a highly regarded scholar and teacher, but a well-respected editor and publisher as well. He co-founded the Library of America publishing venture in 1979. The Library of America is a non-profit publisher focused on publishing and preserving American poetry, fiction, and essays, often producing volumes of collected works that published pieces that would otherwise be out of print. He also co-founded Raritan: A Quarterly Review, out of what he perceived to be a dearth of serious criticism on American literature and culture that engaged both academics and non-academics.

Poirier regularly contributed essays and reviews to publications such as The Partisan Review (which he edited from 1963-1973), The New York Review of Books, and The London Review of Books. He authored a number of books, including works on Henry James, Robert Frost, and Ralph Waldo Emerson and collections of criticism such as The Perfoming Self: Compositions and Decompositions in the Languages of Contemporary Life.

Richard Poirier died in his Manhattan home on August 15, 2009.

From the guide to the Richard Poirier Collection, 1945-2007, [Bulk Dates: 1986-2007]., (Columbia University. Rare Book and Manuscript Library)


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Ark ID:


  • Criticism--United States
  • Pragmatismo en la literatura
  • Pragmatism in literature
  • Scholarly periodicals
  • Criticism
  • American poetry--20th century--History and criticism
  • American literature--History and criticism


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  • United States (as recorded)