Helen Hennessy Vendler (born April 30, 1933) is an American literary critic and is Porter University Professor Emerita at Harvard University.

Life and career

Vendler has written books on Emily Dickinson, W. B. Yeats, Wallace Stevens, John Keats, and Seamus Heaney. She has been a professor of English at Harvard University since 1984; from 1981 to 1984 she taught alternating semesters at Harvard and Boston University. In 1990 she was appointed the A. Kingsley Porter University Professor, the first woman to hold this position. She has also taught at Cornell University, Swarthmore and Smith Colleges, and Boston University. She married (and later divorced) the philosopher Zeno Vendler, with whom she had one son. In 1992 Vendler received an honorary Litt. D. from Bates College. Vendler earned an A.B. in chemistry at Emmanuel College. She was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship for mathematics before earning her Ph.D. in English & American Literature from Harvard. She has also been a judge for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book award, in poetry. In 2004, the National Endowment for the Humanities selected Vendler for the Jefferson Lecture, the federal government's highest honor for achievement in the humanities.Jefferson Lecturers
at NEH Website (retrieved January 22, 2009).
Her lecture, "The Ocean, the Bird, and the Scholar", used poems by Wallace Stevens to argue for the role of the arts (as opposed to history and philosophy) in the study of humanities. Vendler delivered the 2000 Warton Lecture on English Poetry. She is a member of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters.


*''Yeats's Vision and the Later Plays'' (1963) *''On Extended Wings: Wallace Stevens' Longer Poems,'
Harvard University Press
(1969) *''I. A. Richards: Essays in His Honor'' (1973) editor with Reuben Brower and John Hollander *''The Poetry of George Herbert,'
Harvard University Press
(1975) *''Part of Nature Part of Us: Modern American Poets,'
Harvard University Press
(1980) * "What We have Loved, Others Will Love" (1980) *''Modern American Poets'' (1981) *''Stevens: Poems'' (1982) *''The Odes of John Keats,'
Harvard University Press
(1983) *''The Harvard Book of Contemporary American Poetry,'' Harvard University Press (1985) editor *''The Faber Book of Contemporary American Poetry'' (1986) *''Wallace Stevens: Words Chosen out of Desire,'
Harvard University Press
(1986) *''Voices and Visions: The Poet in America'' (1987) *''Music of What Happens: Poems, Poets, Critics,'
Harvard University Press
(1988) *''Poems by W. B. Yeats'' Selected and with an introduction by Helen Vendler

, Arion Press (1990) *''The Given and the Made: Strategies of Poetic Redefinition,'
Harvard University Press
(1995) *''Herman Melville: Selected Poems'' selected and with an introduction by Helen Vendler
Arion Press
(1995) *''John Keats, 1795–1995: With a Catalogue of the Harvard Keats Collection,'
Harvard University Press
(1995) with Leslie A. Morris and William H. Bond *''The Breaking of Style: Hopkins, Heaney, Graham,'
Harvard University Press
(1995) *''The Given and the Made: Strategies of Poetic Redefinition'' (1995) *''Poems - Poets - Poetry: An Introduction and Anthology'' (1996) *''Soul Says: On Recent Poetry,'
Harvard University Press
(1996) essays *''The Art of Shakespeare's Sonnets,'
Harvard University Press
(1997) *''Seamus Heaney,'
Harvard University Press
(1998) *''Anthology of Contemporary American Poetry'' (2003) editor *''Coming of Age as a Poet: Milton, Keats, Eliot, Plath'
Harvard University Press
2003) *''Poets Thinking: Pope, Whitman, Dickinson, Yeats,'
Harvard University Press
(2004) *''Invisible Listeners: Lyric Intimacy in Herbert, Whitman, and Ashbery'' (2005) *''Our Secret Discipline: Yeats and Lyric Form,'
Harvard University Press
(2007) *''Last Looks, Last Books: Stevens, Plath, Lowell, Bishop, Merrill'' (2010) *
Dickinson: Selected Poems and Commentaries
(2010) *''The Ocean, the Bird, and the Scholar: Essays on Poets and Poetry'' (2015)


External links

*ttp://www.nybooks.com/authors/184 Helen Vendler author page and archivefrom ''The New York Review of Books''
Vendler audio interview on the friendship and correspondence
between poets Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell *
Recorded at the Lensic Theater in Santa Fe, New Mexico, on January 22, 2003.
Audio file 1 hr 20 mins. Discussion on W. B. Yeats and poetic forms
'The Finite Furnished with the Infinite'
review of ''Dickinson'' in ''The Oxonian Review'' {{DEFAULTSORT:Vendler, Helen Hennessy Category:1933 births Category:Living people Category:American literary critics Category:Members of the American Academy of Arts and Letters Category:Harvard University faculty Category:Emmanuel College (Massachusetts) alumni Category:Fellows of Magdalene College, Cambridge Category:Members of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters Category:Harvard University alumni Category:Women literary critics Category:American women non-fiction writers Category:20th-century American non-fiction writers Category:20th-century American women writers Category:21st-century American non-fiction writers Category:21st-century American women writers