GROSSMAN, ALLEN (1932– ), U.S. poet. Grossman was born in Minneapolis and educated at Harvard and Brandeis, from which he received his Ph.D. in 1959. He received, among other awards, a MacArthur Fellowship and the Witter Bynner Prize. His poems often concern themselves not only with establishing the authority of the poet as the heir of perennial questions (such as the meaning and shaping powers of language and tradition), but also with reinvigorating the prophetic voice (as in seeking intimacy with, and invoking, the divine). His poetry is notable for its biblical resonance and moral aspiration. In this fashion, both individual and poetic situation are often liberated from sheer contingency. Among his works are The Ether Dome and Other Poems: New and Selected, 1979–1991 (1991); The Sighted Singer: Two Works on Poetry for Readers and Writers (with Mark Halliday (1992); The Long Schoolroom: Lessons in the Bitter Logic of the Poetic Principle (1997); How to Do Things With Tears (2001); and Sweet Youth: Poems by a Young Man and an Old Man, Old and New, 1953–2001 (2002).
D. Morris, Poetry's Poet: Essays on the Poetry, Pedagogy, and Poetics of Allen Grossman (2004).
[Lewis Fried (2nd ed.)]