Marjorie Perloff is one of the foremost American critics of contemporary poetry. She teaches courses and writes on 20th- and now 21st-century poetry and poetics, both Anglo-American and from a comparatist perspective, as well as on intermedia and the visual arts. She is professor emerita of English at Stanford University and the Florence R. Scott Professor of English Emerita at the University of Southern California. She is an elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society.
Her first three books dealt with individual poets — Yeats, Robert Lowell, and Frank O’Hara. She then published The Poetics of Indeterminacy: Rimbaud to Cage (1981 and multiple editions), and then extensively explored avant-garde art movements in The Futurist Moment: Avant-Garde, Avant-Guerre, and the Language of Rupture (1986, new edition, 1994) and subsequent books (13 in all), the most recent of which is Unoriginal Genius: Poetry by Other Means in the New Century (2011). Radical Artifice: Writing Poetry in the Age of Media (1992) has been used in classrooms studying the “new” digital poetics, and 21st Century Modernism (2002) is a manifesto of Modernist Survival. Wittgenstein’s Ladder brought philosophy into the mix; it has recently been translated into Portuguese, Spanish, and Slovenian and will be translated into French for 2014 publication. Perloff also published the cultural memoirThe Vienna Paradox (2004), which has recently appeared in German translation in Vienna and will soon be published in Brazil. The Sound of Poetry / The Poetry of Sound, co-edited with Craig Dworkin, was published by in 2009. A collection of interviews and essays, Poetics in a New Key, will be published by the University of Chicago Press in the fall of 2014. Perloff is currently under contract with Chicago for another book, called The Other Austrians, a study of the still largely misunderstood contribution of the late Hapsburg empire to the literature of Modernism. In this study, Perloff returns to her Viennese roots but also engages what is for her a new area—Modernist fiction, theatre, and memoir.