Poet Maureen McLane with her volume What You Were

Poetry: Maureen McLane

  • This is a past program

Maureen McLane, poet, literary critic, and connoisseur of both the canon and the experimental tradition, epitomizes Wallace Steven’s dictum that “poetry is the scholar’s art.” Her six distinguished volumes of poems include World Enough, chosen Best Poetry Book of the Year by Paul Muldoon in The New Yorker, and her genre-breaking book of criticism and biography My Poets was lauded as “the survey course of my dreams” by Loren Stein. As Christine Smallwood described her manifold talent in Harper’s, McLane’s “mix of the humorous and the cerebral is at once exuberant and rinsed with melancholy.”

Organized and hosted by poet, literary critic, and UCLA Distinguished Research Professor Stephen Yenser. Cosponsored by UCLA Recreation and the UCLA Department of English.

Limited books available for purchase.


Maureen N. McLane is a poet, memoirist, critic, and educator. Raised in upstate New York, she holds degrees from Harvard, Oxford, and the University of Chicago. She has published seven books of poetry: Same Life (FSG, 2008), Finalist for the Audre Lorde/Publishing Triangle Award; World Enough (FSG, 2010); This Blue (FSG, 2014), Finalist for the National Book Award in Poetry; Mz N: the serial (FSG, 2016); Some Say (FSG, 2017, Finalist for the Audre Lorde/Publishing Triangle Award and for The Believer Award in Poetry; What I’m Looking For: Selected Poems (Penguin UK, 2019); and More Anon: Selected Poems (FSG, 2021). Her book My Poets (FSG, 2012), an experimental hybrid of memoir and criticism, was a New York Times Notable Book and Finalist for the 2012 National Book Critics Circle Award in Autobiography. Her poems have appeared in e.g. Bomb, Granta, London Review of Books, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, and PN Review; her work has been translated into Czech, French, Greek, Italian, and Spanish. McLane has also published two critical monographs on British romantic poetics and numerous essays on Anglophone poetics, balladry, and mediality. Her writing on contemporary literature and culture has appeared in (among other venues) Boston Review, The Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Review of Books, The New York Times Book Review, and Public Books. In 2003 she was awarded the National Book Critics Circle Nona Balakian Award for Excellence in Book Reviewing. Other honors include a Rhodes Scholarship; fellowships at Harvard’s Society of Fellows and the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (Berlin); and residencies at Blue Mountain Center, Hedgebrook, MacDowell, Santa Maddalena, TS Eliot House, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and Yaddo. She is the Henry James Professor of English and American Letters at New York University.


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