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Sharon Schrader

English Department
Sturges Hall
Ohio Wesleyan University
61 S. Sandusky St.
Delaware, OH 43015

Phone: (740) 368-3570
Fax: (740) 368-3599

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Dr. David Caplan

caplanPhotoContact Information

Office: Sturges 203
Phone: 740-368-3593
E-mail: dmcaplan@owu.edu


Poetry and Poetics, Twentieth-Century and Contemporary American Literature


M.A., Ph.D., University of Virginia
M.F.A., University of Florida
B.A., Hobart College


Professor Caplan is the Charles M. Weis Chair in English and the Associate Director of Creative Writing. His scholarly interests include poetics and contemporary poetry. He has published four books: Questions of Possibility: Contemporary Poetry and Poetic Form (Oxford University Press 2004; paperback 2006), Poetic Form: An Introduction (Longman, 2006), In the World He Created According to His Will (poems) (University of Georgia Press / VQR Poetry Series, 2010), and Rhyme's Challenge: Poetry, Hip Hop, and Contemporary Rhyming Culture (Oxford University Press, 2014).

Professor Caplan serves as a contributing editor to the Virginia Quarterly Review and to Pleiades: A Journal of New Writing, and an affiliated researcher (Chercheur Affilié) at the Centre Interdisciplinaire de Poétique Appliquée. Twice he has been a Fulbright Lecturer in American Literature at the University of Liège. He also was the National Endowment for the Humanities Post-Doctoral Fellow in Poetics at The Bill and Carol Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry at Emory University. His other honors include the 2012 Emily Clark Balch Prize for Poetry, given to the best poem or group of poems that the Virginia Quarterly Review published during the year, the Welch Award for Scholarly or Artistic Achievement, and an Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award in Criticism.

Courses Taught

ENG 105, Freshman Writing Seminar
ENG 226, American Images
ENG 316, Writing Poetry
ENG 372, Modern American Literature
ENG 374, Contemporary American Literature

Major Publications

Questions of Possibility: Contemporary Poetry and Poetic Form (Oxford University Press, 2004; paperback edition, 2006)

reviews of Questions of Possibility: Contemporary Poetry and Poetic Form:

Modernism / Modernity
Essays in Criticism
American Literary History

Poetic Form: An Introduction (Pearson Longman, 2006)

In the World He Created According to His Will (poems) (University of Georgia Press / VQR Poetry Series, 2010).

The Jerusalem Post praised In the World He Created as "where beauty and wisdom merge," calling Caplan "one of those poets a culture discards at its peril." "Caplan manages to turn the form inside out," The Forward also observed, "while still creating a deeply spiritual meditation on nature, human relationships, and God."

Rhyme's Challenge: Poetry, Hip Hop, and Contemporary Rhyming Culture (Oxford University Press, 2014)

Professor Caplan appeared on Newstalk, a national radio broadcast in Ireland, to talk with Sean Moncrieff, host of the Moncrieff show, about Rhyme's Challenge. The interview can be found here:


In its Spring 2012 issue, the Virginia Quarterly Review published a commissioned sequence of his poems, accompanied by photographs taken by Noah Rabinowitz, set at Tiferes Bachurim, a Lubavitch yeshiva in Morristown, New Jersey. Introducing the Morristown poems Stephen Burt
noted, "These remarkable poems blend spiritual unease with religious confidence, an investigator's fascinated spirit with a sense that the poet has almost--but not quite-- come home."

The poems and Burt's introduction can be found here:


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