About Jan Schreiber

Jan Schreiber is a poet and critic. His books include Digressions, Wily Apparitions, and Bell Buoys, as well as two books of translations: A Stroke upon the Sea and Sketch of a Serpent. His poems and reviews have appeared in the Hudson Review, the Southern Review, Agenda, the Formalist, and many other publications, as well as on-line journals and anthologies. A song cycle, Zeno’s Arrow, based on seven of his poems, was composed by Paul Alan Levi and premiered in 2001.


Jan Schreiber Has written the following articles:


Byrd or Cage?

An Exaltation of Forms: Contemporary Poets Celebrate the Diversity of Their Art. Edited by Annie Finch and Kathrine Varnes. University of Michigan Press, 2002. 442 pages

As Reviewed By: Jan Schreiber

Seeking still newer ways of challenging themselves with physical barriers to be overcome, young urbanites are flocking to a new sport, called “parkour” by its French inventors.… continue reading...

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An Agenda for Critics: Judgment

By: Jan Schreiber

The task of the critic is judgment. I hope to unravel the complexities of judgment, as it applies to works of literature, and specifically to poetry.… continue reading...

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The Absolutist: The poetry and criticism of Yvor Winters

In Defense of Reason by Yvor Winters. Denver: Alan Swallow, 1947. Reprinted with an introduction by Kenneth Fields, Ohio University Press / Swallow Press, 1987.

The Function of Criticism by Yvor Winters.continue reading...

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Sapphics for Students 

All the Fun’s in How You Say a Thing: An Explanation of Meter and Versification by Timothy Steele. Swallow Press, Ohio University Press, 1999. 366 Pages ($34.95 cloth, $16.95 paper).continue reading...

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History for the Reformation 

Missing Measures: Modern Poetry and the Revolt Against Meter by Timothy Steele. University of Arkansas Press, 1990. 349 pages.

As Reviewed By: Jan Schreiber

A great deal of foolishness has been written over a wide swath of history regarding the composition of poetry.… continue reading...

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Of Phonographs and Oily Birds 

The White Lie: New and Selected Poetry by Don Paterson. Graywolf Press, 2001. 106 pages, $14.00 paperback.

As Reviewed By: Jan Schreiber

There are poets who tell it straight and those who are oblique.… continue reading...

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Wrestling with the Angel

Reading Rilke: Reflections on the Problems of Translation by William H. Gass. Basic Books, 1999. 233 pages.

As Reviewed By: Jan Schreiber

It is undeniable that Rilke has exercised a continuous fascination on both poets and ordinary readers in the English-speaking world since his death.… continue reading...

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Landscape with Banana Peels 

The Lords of Misrule: Poems, 1992-2001 by X. J. Kennedy. Johns Hopkins University Press, 93 pages.

As Reviewed By: Jan Schreiber

Some PhD student will one day write (or perhaps has already written) a treatise on the structural similarity between short poems and jokes.… continue reading...

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“Pacifier” by X. J. Kennedy

[private]her night thoughts


My baby wails. That I may rest

I offer him a rubber breast

And soon as waves by oil suppressed,

He quiets. An underhanded trick

Yet practical and politic-

He cries for bread.… continue reading...

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An Agenda for Critics: Judgment

As Reviewed By: Jan Schreiber

The task of the critic is judgment. I hope to unravel the complexities of judgment, as it applies to works of literature, and specifically to poetry.… continue reading...

Posted in EssaysComments (0)