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  • Faculty

  • Richard Tayson

    Part-time Associate Teaching Professor


    Office Location
    A - Alvin Johnson/J.M. Kaplan Hall - 66 West 12th Street

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    Richard Tayson


    The author of two books of poetry and a memoir that became a bestseller in Germany and was featured here on Dateline NBC, Tayson received his M.A. from New York University’s Creative Writing Program, where he studied with Sharon Olds and the late Galway Kinnell. A Chancellor’s Fellow from 2006-2011, Tayson received his Ph.D. from CUNY’s Graduate Center, where he wrote a dissertation concerning sonics in the poems of William Blake and his American offspring, Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, and punk icon Patti Smith. He is currently writing a book of poems on obsession, addiction, and celebrity culture and a companion memoir, for which he received his second New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship in the 2014-2015 cycle. His teaching method, which stresses the personal expressive possibilities of sonic texture, may be located somewhere between Linda Gregg’s suggestion that “poems communicate without needing to be decoded into logic” and James Baldwin’s sense that “When you're writing, you're trying to find out something you didn't know.”


    Recent Publications

    The World Underneath (poetry), The Kent State University Press, 2008
    The Apprentice of Fever (poetry), Wick Poetry Prize, The Kent State University Press, 1998

    Live-Oak, with Moss:  A Restorative Edition.  Ed. and printed by Rutherford Witthus.  Foreword by Richard Tayson.  Limited edition. Walpole , New Hampshire, 2012

    “Tracks,” “I Do,” and “Sylvie’s House.”  Flicker and Spark:  A Contemporary Anthology of Queer Spoken Word and Poetry.  Ed. Regie Cabico and Brittany Fonte.  Lowbrow Press, 2013
    “I Am Woman.”  Divining Divas:  100 Gay Men on Their Muses. Ed. Michael Montlack. Lethe Press, 2012.
    “After The Vanishing.”  The Next of Us Is About to Be Born:  The Wick Poetry Series Anthology In Celebration of the Twenty-fifth Anniversary of the Wick Poetry Center.  Ed. Maggie Anderson.  The Kent State University Press, 2009.
    “Before Anarchy.”  My Diva:  65 Gay Men on the Women Who Inspire Them.  Ed. Michael Montlack. U. of Wisconsin Press, 2009.
    “I Do.”  Velvet Avalanche.  Ed. Donna M. Hill.  Satjah Press, (Canada), 2006.
    “Crowning,” “I Do.”  Family Matters:  Poems of Our Families.  Ed. Ann Smith and Larry Smith.  Bottom Dog Press, 2005.
    “I Do.”  I Do/I Don’t:  Queers on Marriage.  Ed. Greg Wharton and Ian Philips. Soft Skull Press, 2004.
    “First Sex.”  Best of Prairie Schooner:  Fiction and Poetry.  Ed. Hilda Raz. U. of Nebraska Press, 2001.
    “Blood Test,” “Your Feet,” “In Sickness and In Health.”  Word of Mouth.  Ed. Timothy Liu.  Talisman House, 2000.
    “First Sex,” “Nightsweats,” “Phone Sex.”  The World in Us:  Lesbian and Gay Poetry of the Next Wave.  Ed. Michael Lassell and Elena Georgiou. St. Martin's Press, 2000.
    “Nightsweats,” “The Chase.”  American Poetry:  Next Generation.  Ed. Gerald Costanza and Jim Daniels.  Carnegie Mellon, 2000.

    “New Mother.”  Colorado Review XXXIV.3 (Winter 2007 / Spring 2008).
    “I Do.”  Bloom 1.6 (Winter 2007).
    “On the Way to See James Dean.”  Nightsun 25 (Fall 2006).
    “Dark Theater,” “First Night.”  Virginia Quarterly 82.3 (Summer 2006).
    “Whatever Happens to the Lesbian Happens to Me.”  The Gay & Lesbian Review XI.5 (Sept./Oct. 2004).
    “Home Birth.”  Washington Square 14 (Summer 2004).
    “The Place That I Am.”  Bloom 1.1 (Winter 2004).
    “Arrival,” “Crowning.”  Prairie Schooner 77.4 (Winter 2003).
    “His Anger.”  Tar River Poetry 40.2 (Spring 2001).
    “My Mother’s Visit,” “Crowning.”  Gertrude.  Spring / Summer 2001
    “Afterwards Antigone Goes to the Water,” “Vigil.”  Painted Bride Quarterly poetry online 63.  Spring 2000
    “Phone Sex,” “Peschanka,” “Your Feet.”  Paris Review 137 (Winter 1995).

    “the volcano sequence as Fragmentary, Postmodern (and Yes, Feminist) Text.”  Alicia Ostriker and the Imperative of Intimacy: Essays and Interviews.  Ann Arbor:  U. of Michigan Press, forthcoming 2015.
    “The Casualties of Walt Whitman.” Virginia Quarterly Review 81.2 (Spring 2005): 79-95.
    “Back Down to Earth:  Walt Whitman’s Preface to the 1855 Leaves of Grass.”  Poets.Org from the Academy of American Poets. “Manifestos and Debates” series. January 2005 .
    “Poets Are Out in the Presses.” The Gay & Lesbian Review / Worldwide XI.6 (Nov / Dec 2004):  22-6.
    “The Cavernous Eye / I of Unknowing:  Dan Beachy-Quick's Wonderful Investigations"  (featured review, Pleiades:  A Journal of New Writing 34.1 (2014):  188-95.
    Blue Stranger with Mosaic Background by Wayne Koestenbaum, Pleiades:  A Journal of New Writing 33.1 (2013):  238-40.
    “Visionary Scrawl:  Romantic Ancestors and Patti Smith’s Just Kids.” Featured Review. Pleiades:  A Journal of New Writing 30.2 (2010):  192-202.
    “The Poetics of Lesbian Inclusion:  on Joan Larkin’s My Body:  New & Selected Poems.” Featured Review. Pleiades:  A Journal of New Writing 29.2 (2009). 162-70.
    “Autobiographically Postmodern” (Tory Dent’s Black Milk). Featured Review.  Pleiades:  A Journal of New Writing 27.1 (2007):  142-7.

    Research Interests

    Contemporary American poetics, ars poetica past and present, experimental poetics in a personal context, pop culture in American poetry, writing about music, the sonic sublime in English Romantic poetry, queer poetics, memoir

    Awards And Honors

    New York Foundation for the Arts – Artist Fellowship, Nonfiction (2014-15)
    Chancellor’s Fellowship, Graduate Center, CUNY (2006-2011)
    D.C. Center for the LGBT Community, Smoking Words Poetry Competition, 2nd place (2011)
    Doctoral Student Research Grant, Graduate Center, CUNY (2008-2009)
    Prairie Schooner, Edward Stanley Award (2004)
    New York Foundation for the Arts – Artist Fellowship, Poetry (2003)
    Tom and Stanley Wick Poetry Prize, Kent State University (1997)
    Pushcart Prize (1996)
    Prairie Schooner,Beatrice Slote Award, (1995)
    Academy of American Poets, College Prize (1992)
    Colorado Review, finalist, Martha Scott Trimble Poetry Award (1991)


    Richard Tayson's Website

    Essay: "The Cavernous Eye / I of Unknowing: Dan Beachy-Quick's Wonderful Investigations

    Virginia Quarterly Page for Richard Tayson

    TimeOut New York

    New York Times Profile

    Current Courses

    Beg Poetry Workshop

    Beg Poetry Workshop (Fall 2019)

    Honors Poetry Workshop

    Poetry & the Creative Process

    Poetry & the Creative Process (Fall 2019)

    Riggio Honors Program: Thesis

    Riggio Honors Program: Thesis (Fall 2019)

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