Literary Criticism online

John Berryman (1914-1972)

A selective list of online literary criticism for American poet John Berryman, favoring signed articles by recognized scholars and articles in peer-reviewed sources


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introduction & biography

"John Berryman." An introduction to John Berryman, includes biography and excerpts from important critical discussions of some of his best known poems: On The Dream Songs; On "Dream Song 1"; On "Dream Song 4"; On "Dream Song 5"; On "Dream Song 14"; On "Dream Song 22"; On "Dream Song 29"; On "Dream Song 45"; On "Dream Song 46"; On "Dream Song 55"; On "Dream Song 76"; On "Dream Song 384"; On "Negro Minstrelsy" in The Dream Songs. Modern American Poetry, Univ. of Illinois. Eds. Edward Brunner and Cary Nelson.

"John Berryman." An introduction to Berryman. Also "A Brief Guide to Confessional Poetry" and "Life Studies." A succinct summary of modern American poetry discusses John Berryman's importance. Academy of American Poets.

Smith, Ernest J. "John Berryman." A substantial introduction to John Berryman. 7 July 2001 Literary Encyclopedia. Eds. Robert Clark, Emory Elliott, Janet Todd [subscription service].

"Hold the Audience: A Brief Memoir of John Berryman." Laurence Lieberman recalls his difficulties getting Berryman out of a bar and to a reading in 1969. WebdelSol.

Wojahn, David. "'In All Them Time Henry Could Not Make Good.'" Personal reflections on the rise and fall of poets' reputations, particularly Berryman's. Blackbird 4, 2 (Fall 2005).

"Master Poets Pay Homage to Berryman." Brief news article on a 1997 reading at Columbia in John Berryman's honor. Columbia University Record.

"John Berryman." A short biography of John Berryman. Poetry Foundation.


literary criticism

Francescato, Simone. "Lost Voices of the Trans-Atlantic Journey." On John Berryman's long poem Homage to Mistress Bradstreet (1956), Robert Hayden's poem "A Letter from Phillis Wheatley" (1978) and J.M. Coetzee's novel Foe (1986). 49th Parallel (e-journal).

Galassi, Jonathan. "John Berryman: Sorrows and Passions of His Majesty the Ego." Poetry Nation 2 (1974).

Mancini, Joseph, Jr. "A Hearing Aid for Berryman's 'Dream Songs.'" Modern Language Studies 10, 1 (Winter 1979-1980) [first page of article only, blurred].

Moss, Robert F. "Berryman's Last Hurrah." On The Freedom of the Poet, by John Berryman. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux 1976). The Virginia Quarterly Review, Autumn 1976.

Provost, Sarah. "Erato's Fool and Bitter Sister: Two Aspects of John Berryman." Twentieth Century Literature 30, 1 (Spring 1984) [first page of article only, blurred].

Siegel, Muffy E.A. "'The Original Crime': John Berryman's Iconic Grammar." Poetics Today 2, 1 Roman Jakobson: Language and Poetry (Autumn, 1980) [first page of article only].


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