Penn Arts & Sciences Logo

Amy Paeth

Amy Paeth

2015 Ph.D. Graduate
Dissertation Advisor(s): Bob Perelman
"State Verse Culture: American Poets Laureate, 1945-2015"

Fellow, Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing
Fisher-Bennett Hall 321.3
215-898-5991

Office Hours

fall 2018

Wednesdays 2-4pm & by appointment

A.B., English and Creative Writing, Princeton University (2008). M.A., English, University of Pennsylvania (2010). Ph.D., English, University of Pennsylvania (2015).

20th- and 21st-century American literature; poetry and poetics; literature and nationalism; film and popular culture.

My current book project, State Verse Culture: American Poets Laureate, 1945-2015, awarded the Northeast Modern Language Association (MLA)'s Annual Book Prize in 2018, is the first history of the U.S. national poetry office after World War II. Drawing from archival research at the Library of Congress and the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, I trace the collaboration of federal bodies (The Library of Congress, The State Department, The Central Intelligence Agency, The National Endowment of the Arts) and private literary organizations (The Poetry Society of America, The Poetry Foundation/Poetry Magazine) with mutual patrons (Paul Mellon, Ruth Lilly) as the development of a post-1945 national poetry project—an institutional legacy that links State Department missions during the Cold War to Poets Laureate projects today. State Verse Culture contributes to a growing body of institutional and sociological approaches to U.S. literary production in the postwar era, and demonstrates how poetry played a uniquely important, and largely underacknowledged, role in the cultural front of the Cold War.