Sacks, Peter M. 1950-

views updated

SACKS, Peter M. 1950-

(Peter Sacks)

PERSONAL: Born July 15, 1950, in Port Elizabeth, South Africa; immigrated to United States, 1970, naturalized citizen, 1983; son of Samuel (a doctor) and Esther (Gordon) Sacks; married Barbara Kassel (a painter), January 8, 1980. Education: Princeton University, A.B. (summa cum laude), 1973; Oxford University, M.Phil., 1976; Yale University, Ph.D., 1980.

ADDRESSES: Home—3519 Newland Rd., Baltimore, MD 21218. Office—Department of English, Johns Hopkins University, 34th and Charles Sts., Baltimore, MD 21218.

CAREER: Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, assistant professor, 1980-86, associate professor of English, beginning 1986—, member of writing seminars department.

AWARDS, HONORS: Christian Gauss Award, Phi Beta Kappa, 1985, for The English Elegy.


The English Elegy: Studies in the Genre from Spenser to Yeats, Johns Hopkins University Press (Baltimore, MD), 1985.

(Under name Peter Sacks) In These Mountains (poetry), Macmillan (New York, NY), 1986.

Promised Lands, Viking (New York, NY), 1990.

Woody Gwyn, Texas Tech University Press (Lubbock, TX), 1995.

Natal Command, University of Chicago Press (Chicago, IL), 1997.

O Wheel (poetry), University of Georgia Press (Athens, GA), 2000.

Necessity (poetry), W. W. Norton (New York, NY), 2003.

Contributor of articles and poems to periodicals, including Antioch Review, Boulevard, Georgia Review, New Republic, New Yorker, Partisan Review, Tikkun, TriQuarterly, and Yale Review.

SIDELIGHTS: Peter M. Sacks once told CA: "I was raised in South Africa. I am now an expatriate, but I am still caught up in that country's history. My work in poetry has usually sought to balance an openness to physical beauty on the one hand against historical suffering on the other.

"In scholarship, I was drawn to the genre of elegy, from the Renaissance to the present. While my chronological focus is now narrowing toward the twentieth century, my interests are widening within the field of poetry at large. Questions of the relationship between individual writers and cultural codes are of particular interest to me.

"Expatriation and the impulse to travel are still uppermost and have led to journeys through such regions as the Amazon, the Andes and Himalayas, Morocco, Namibia, and southern Mexico. Another strong interest is in writing about painting, primarily on representational painting of the last two centuries."



Baltimore Sun, July 20, 1986.

Hudson Review, spring, 1987.

Virginia Quarterly Review, autumn, 1986.

Washington Post Book World, May 3, 1987.*