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John Roche

Associate Professor
2106 Liberal Arts
(585) 475-4922
Postdoctoral: NEH fellowships at the University of Chicago, University of Washington, and University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (2)
PhD in English, State University of New York at Buffalo
MA in Anglo-Irish Studies, University College Dublin, The National University of Ireland
BA in English, The University of Connecticut, Storrs

I am widely interdisciplinary in my interests, with an M.A. in Anglo-Irish Literature and study of Yeats, Blake, and other bardic figures that I put to use in teaching Irish Literature and various poetry classes, but my background is also firmly rooted in Walt Whitman and the American free-verse and experimental poetry traditions that draw on his conception of the poet's twin responsibilities to his or her own individuality and to the civic society the poet must engage. These are the dual emphases I bring to my teaching, as well as to my advising duties with RIT's literary magazine, Signatures.

I taught at Emory University and Michigan State University, among other schools, before coming to RIT, where I've taught for more than a decade. My dissertation was on Walt Whitman and Frank Lloyd Wright, but I also did considerable work on Post-WWII poetry, studying with the late poets Robert Creeley and John C. Clarke at Buffalo, and before that with George Butterick and Glauco Cambon at Storrs. I've had four NEH summer fellowships, studying Romantic Theory with Ernst Behler at the University of Washington, Print Culture in America with Carl Kaestle at the University of Chicago, and American Studies (twice) with Townsend Ludington, Joy Kasson, and John Kasson at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

My longtime interest in the Black Mountain poets has been rekindled of late. I taught a class in spring 2010 on Black Mountain College, edited a memoir and poem collection by Black Mountain alumna Martha Rittenhouse Treichler in fall 2010, and organized a three-day symposium called Black Mountain North in October 2010:

Following from this, I created an Honors class in  Beat & Black Mountain Poetry, and another class in Beat Literature. I continue to pursue my own poetry, alone and in collaboration with musicians like the Handmade Orchestra and the Chicago Scratch Orchestra. I served as a judge for Poets Walk, and as emcee for the Memorial Art Gallery reading celebrating this tribute to two centuries of poetry in the Greater Rochester area:

I am also on the Board of, and formerly President of, the Just Poets organization:



Poetry Books:

The Joe Poems: The Continuing Saga of Joe the Poet (FootHills Publishing, Kanona, NY, 2012)

Road Ghosts (Theenk Books, Palmyra, NY)

Topicalities (FootHills Publishing, Kanona, NY, 2008)

On Conesus (FootHills 2005)

Ground Effects (Allicin Press, Lansing, MI, 1993)

Edited Collections:

Black Mountain to Crooked Lake: Poems 1948-2010, with a Memoir of Black Mountain College, by Martha Rittenhouse Treichler  (FootHills Publishing, 2010)

Doing Time to Cleanse My Mindan anthology from the Inmates' Poetry Workshop of Auburn Correctional Facility (Auburn, New York),  2001-2009  with Patricia Roth Schwartz (FootHills Publishing, 2009)

Uncensored Songs for Sam Abrams (Spuyten Duyvil, Brooklyn, 2008) 

Poetry in Magazines and Anthologies: Grey Sparrow Review, Yellow Medicine ReviewFLURBHouse Organ, Rootdrinker, Big BridgeJack MagazineDuke City Fix, Interim, IntentCoe ReviewWood CoinUse These WordsThe Woodstock JournalBuffThe Burning World, Listening to the Silence, Knocking on Water, Le Mot Juste, Pinnacle Hill Review, Midwest Miscellany, Cinquainicity, and Simpatico on the Road: Rochester, Malpais Review, Cedilla, The Rag, and Napalm Health SpaAlso the anthologies Vigil for the Marcellus Shale and Liberty's Vigil.

Essays and Articles:

Review of Hugh Fox, Approaching: Poems of Brazil. Grey Sparrow Review Sp 2011

"Theodore Enslin" (bibliographical essay), American Nature Poets, vol. 342 of the Dictionary of Literary Biography (Gale 2008)

"Whitman's Temporary Autonomous Zone. Mickle Street Review.17/18. Online Journal

"Dignity's Carriage: Poetic Utterance as Vehicle for Recognition." International Studies in Philosophy. 35:1. 2003

"Poems of Healing." RIT News & Events34:1 (2001)

"In Troubled Times, Poetry Helps Us Understand Ourselves/Others." Rochester Democrat & Chronicle 1-21/01.21A

"New Kid on the Grid." The Onliner: Newsletter of RIT Online Learning(2001)

"Carl Rakosi,' Encyclopedia of American Poetry. Ed. Eric Haralson (FitzRoy Dearborn, 2001)

 "Poetry on the Internet: A Survey." Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, 2000 (cover feature of the print issue; also online for several years as a sample essay)

"Democratic Space: The Ecstatic Geography of Walt Whitman and Frank Lloyd Wright." repr. Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism, Vol. 95. (Gale, 2000)

"Architects & Architecture," "The Arts and Crafts Movement," "Sadakichi Hartmann." Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia. Eds. Donald D. Kummings and J. R. LeMaster (Garland, 1998).

"Jayne Cortez," "Wendy Rose," Bella Akhmadulina." Contemporary Women Poets. Ed. Pamela Kester-Shelton (St. James Press, 1998).

"Katherine Burdekin." Feminist Writers. Ed. Pamela Kester-Shelton (St. James Press, 1996)

"Scattered Leaves: Morris's Men in America and the Polemical Magazine." The Journal of Pre-Raphaelite Studies 4:1 (Fall, 1995) 93-104

"The Culture of Pre-Modernism: Whitman, Morris, and the American Arts & Crafts Movement." ATQ: 19th C. American Literature and Culture 9:2 (1995) 103-118

"Louis Sullivan's Architecural Principles and the Organic Aesthetic of Friedrich Schelling and S. T. Coleridge." Nineteenth Century Studies 7 (1993) 29-55

"Building for Democracy: Organic Architecture in Relation to Progressive Education." Educational Theory 40.3 (1990) 295-307

"S&L: Loading the Bases." intent. letter of talk, thinking, and document2:2-3 (1990) 27-28

"Notes Towards an Architectural Botany." intent. letter of talk, thinking, and document 1:2 (1989) 9, 11

 "Democratic Space: The Ecstatic Geography of Walt Whitman and Frank Lloyd Wright." Walt Whitman Quarterly Review. 6:1 (1988) 16-32

"Graduate Workers Form Unions." The Guardian (9/14/83) 14

"All the Muse That's Fit to Print." The Hartford Advocate (12/15/76) 55

"Blue Spruce (Poets) Press." The Hartford Advocate (12/1/76) 29

[Numerous book reviews not listed here]