MacArthur Fellows Program

Allen Grossman

Poet and Literary Critic | Class of 1989

Poet and Literary Critic
Waltham, Massachusetts
57 at time of award
June 27, 2014
Published August 1, 1989

About Allen's Work

Allen Grossman is a poet, a literary critic, and a teacher.

Grossman is distinguished by his quietly luminous lyric poems.  He is the author of 10 books of poetry, including A Harlot’s Hire (1959), The Recluse (1965), And the Dew Lay All Night Upon My Branch (1974), Of the Great House (1982), The Ether Dome and Other Poems: New and Selected (1979-1991) (1991), How to Do Things with Tears (2001) and Sweet Youth (2002).  He is the author of The Sighted Singer: Two Works on Poetry for Readers and Writers (1991) and The Long Schoolroom: Lessons in the Bitter Logic of the Poetic Principle (1997).  He has also written essays on Hart Crane, Walt Whitman, and Abraham Lincoln.


Grossman taught at Brandeis University (1957-1991), where he was the Paul E. Prosswimmer Professor of Poetry and General Education.  He was a visiting Professor at the Universitat HaNegev (1971) and the Pearl Andelson Sherry Visiting Poet at the University of Chicago (2004).  Since 1991, he has been the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities at the Johns Hopkins University.

Grossman received a B.A. (1949) and an M.A. (1956) from Harvard University, and a Ph.D. (1960) from Brandeis University. 

Last updated January 1, 2005.

Select News Coverage of Allen Grossman
June 29, 2014
"Allen Grossman, a Poet's Poet and Scholar, Dies at 82"
The New York Times
Allen Grossman , 1989 MacArthur Fellow
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