About James Rother

James Rother studied at McGill University and the University of California at Santa Barbara. His critical work has appeared in Contemporary Literature and the American Book Review. He is a professor of literature at San Diego State University.


James Rother Has written the following articles:


Further News from the Rear 

Chinese Whispers by John Ashbery. FSG, 2002. $22.00.

As Reviewed By: James Rother

The career of John Ashbery continues the poetic perpetuum mobile of our time.… continue reading...

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No More than Offhanded Grace Miraculously Transformed into an Ormulu…

New British Poetry. Edited by Don Paterson and Charles Simic. Graywolf Press, 2005. $16

As Reviewed By: James Rother

It’s been a while since the relative healthiness of relations between poets on this side of the pond and those still lodged in the mother country have been top priorities with editors of American literary journals.… continue reading...

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Wrought Fiery-Hot Upon a Grillwork of Transformations

Western Art by Deborah Greger. Penguin Poets Series, 2004. $18.

As Reviewed By: James Rother

Debora Greger is one of those poets who can’t help obsessing about art’s hidden agenda—the one lurking beneath layers of veneration which for centuries have surrounded art with more awe and wonder than anything outside of revealed religion.… continue reading...

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The Swirling Crosswinds of a Made-up Metric

Alan Williamson, The Pattern More Complicated: New and Selected Poems. University of Chicago Press, 2004. 245 pp.

As Reviewed By: James Rother

At your next party, try this on your poetry-loving guests.… continue reading...

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Englishing Ovid

Concerning Some Recent Versions of the Metamorphoses by Ovid.

As Reviewed By: James Rother

[Unless otherwise attributed, all translations are the author’s.]

It is remarkable, but hardly strange, that the works of Roman poet Publius Ovidius Naso (better known as Ovid [43 B.C.-17 A.D.], and spanning the emperies of Augustus and Tiberius), have been enjoying a revival lately, with translations into English of the most famous of his poems, Metamorphoses, nearly matching those of Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey over the last few decades.… continue reading...

Posted in Essays, ReviewsComments (0)

In Memoriam: Hugh Kenner

Hugh Kenner (1923-2003)

As Reviewed By: James Rother

Just barely octogenarian (but grown wispy), Hugh Kenner, like the Romantic correspondent breeze he so adamantly eschewed in the prolonged swath through modernist studies he cut like a mighty wind, slipped away a year ago this past month, a legend diminished but certainly not obscured by the marginalizations heaped upon him in recent years.… continue reading...

Posted in December 2004: In Memoriam, FeaturedComments (0)

The Interpres-sive Lowell

Collected Poems of Robert Lowell. Edited by Frank Bidart and David Gewanter. Farrar, Strauss & Giroux, 2003. 1181 pages. $45.

As Reviewed By: James Rother

Three years ago the Collected Poems everyone was talking about was J.… continue reading...

Posted in Featured, January 2004: Robert Lowell Special Issue, ReviewsComments (0)

The Refining Instrument of Poetry: James Rother Interviews Sherod Santos

Interviewer’s Note: Poet and essayist Sherod Santos is the author of four books of poetry, Accidental Weather (Doubleday, 1982), The Southern Reaches (Wesleyan, 1989), The City of Women (W.… continue reading...

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Kitsch and the Talking Cure

Origami Bridges: Poems of Psychoanalysis and Fire by Diane Ackerman. Harper Collins, 2002. $22.95

Until “poet, essayist, and naturalist” Diane Ackerman, the only celebrity from Waukegan, Illinois able to toss off jokes and fiddle off-key simultaneously was Jack Benny.… continue reading...

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