Kane, Paul 1950-

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Kane, Paul 1950-


Born March 23, 1950, in Cobleskill, NY; son of T. Paul (a judge) and Jeanne Kane; married Christine Reynolds (a textile conservator), June 21, 1980. Education: Yale University, B.A., 1973; Melbourne University, M.A., 1987, Ph.D., 1990. Politics: "Independent."


Office—Vassar College English Department, Sanders Classroom Bldg., Box 744, 124 Raymond Ave., Poughkeepsie, NY 12604-0744. E-mail—[email protected]


Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY, professor of English, 1990—.


PEN American Center, American Association of Australian Literary Studies.


National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship, 1998; Guggenheim fellowship, 1999; recipient of Fulbright and Mellon grants.


The Farther Shore (poetry), George Braziller (New York, NY), 1989.

(With William Clift) A Hudson Landscape (photographs and prose), William Clift Editions, 1993.

(Editor, with Harold Bloom) Ralph Waldo Emerson: Collected Poems and Translations (poetry), Library of America (New York, NY), 1994.

(Editor) Poetry of the American Renaissance (poetry), George Braziller (New York, NY), 1995.

Australian Poetry: Romanticism and Negativity (criticism), Cambridge University Press (Melbourne, Australia), 1996.

Drowned Lands (poetry), University of South Carolina Press (Columbia, SC), 2000.

(Editor, with Donata Carrazza) Vintage, D. Carrazza & P. Kane (Mildura, Victoria, Australia), 2004.

(Editor, with Donata Carrazza) Letters to Les, D. Carrazza & P. Kane (Mildura, Victoria, Australia), 2005.

Work Life: New Poems, Turtle Point (New York, NY), 2007.

A Slant Light (poetry), Whitmore Press (Geelong, Australia), 2008.

Contributor of poems, articles, and reviews to periodicals, including New Republic, Paris Review, Poetry, Raritan, New Criterion, Antipodes, and Australian Book Review.


Paul Kane both writes his own poetry and edits the works of other poets. In the latter role, he produced Ralph Waldo Emerson: Collected Poems and Translations, a volume that was praised by a Publishers Weekly contributor as an "exhaustive, sensitive compilation" that "offers up poetic reiterations of Emerson's more popular essays … and serves to re-open the case for Emerson as a poet."

In Australian Poetry: Romanticism and Negativity, Kane begins his investigation of Australia's romantic tradition by examining works "from the likes of De Man, Bloom and Hartman," according to Australian Literary Studies critic Martin Duwell. "He also faces the objections of new historicists who wish to see the matter returned to an historically specific event in the face of the suspicion that romanticism is in danger of becoming a vague coverall term." In addition, Kane "covers the philosophical history of ‘negativity’ in a useful summary, comparing Hegelian and Freudian uses of it, so that the absence of romanticism can be treated as something more than a lack."

Kane's collection Work Life: New Poems "presents poems as well crafted as any these days," declared Ray Olson, reviewing the volume for Booklist, "as well as a wonderfully appealing persona." Using elements drawn from his own life (several poems in the collection deal with departed parents or parent-figures; "Third Parent," for instance, is an elegy addressed to his deceased mother-in-law, while "To My Father Dying" examines the significance of the loss of a parent), Kane ruminates on his high school and college careers as well as outstanding moments of significance. The centerpiece of the volume, the long poem "Psyche," for instance, deals on one level with the author's encounter with a butterfly in a park but turns into an examination of art, literature, and change. "Perhaps Coleridge," Olson concluded, "would write such a poem."



Australian Literary Studies, May, 1997, Martin Duwell, review of Australian Poetry: Romanticism and Negativity, p. 107.

Booklist, April 1, 2007, Ray Olson, review of Work Life: New Poems, p. 17.

Hudson Review, autumn, 1990, Dick Allen, review of The Farther Shore, p. 509.

Library Journal, November 1, 1995, Frank Allen, review of Poetry of the American Renaissance, p. 69.

Nation, October 3, 1994, Thomas M. Disch, review of Ralph Waldo Emerson: Collected Poems and Translations, p. 350.

Overland, autumn, 1997, Jeffrey Poacher, review of Australian Poetry, p. 88.

Publishers Weekly, June 27, 1994, review of Ralph Waldo Emerson, p. 66.

Times Literary Supplement, May 31, 1991, Glyn Maxwell, review of The Farther Shore, p. 12.