A. E. Stallings

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A. E. Stallings
Born (1968-07-02) July 2, 1968 (age 52)
Decatur, Georgia[1]
EducationUniversity of Georgia (AB)
University of Oxford (MSt)
Literary movementNew Formalism

Alicia Elsbeth Stallings (born July 2, 1968) is an American poet and translator. A fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, she was named a 2011 MacArthur Fellow (the “Genius Grant”).[2]


Stallings was born and raised in Decatur, Georgia [1] and studied classics at the University of Georgia (A.B., 1990) and the University of Oxford (MSt in Latin Literature, 1991, Lady Margaret Hall). She is an editor with the Atlanta Review. In 1999, Stallings moved to Athens, Greece and has lived there ever since.[1] She is the Poetry Program Director of the Athens Centre.[3] She is married to John Psaropoulos, who was the editor of the Athens News.

Stallings's poetry uses traditional forms, and she has been associated with the New Formalism.[4]

She is a frequent contributor of poems and essays to Poetry magazine[5] and the Times Literary Supplement.[6] Her work has been published in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The New York Review of Books, The Times Literary Supplement, The Sewanee Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, and many other publications. She has published four books of original verse: Archaic Smile (1999), Hapax (2006), Olives (2012) and Like (2018). In 2007, she published a verse translation of Lucretius's De Rerum Natura (The Nature of Things) and, in 2018, a verse translation of Hesiod's Works and Days, both with Penguin Classics.

Critical response[edit]

Sir Christopher Ricks, widely regarded as the greatest living critic of English-language poetry[by whom?], writes: "The poems of A.E.Stallings are never less than the true voice of feeling, and always more...she is able to realize in her poems the myriad minds of Europe."[7] In 2015, Ricks nominated Stallings to be the Oxford Professor of Poetry. The MacArthur Fellowship committee praised her "mastery" of poetic form, declaring that: "[t]hrough her technical dexterity and graceful fusion of content and form, Stallings is revealing the timelessness of poetic expression and antiquity's relevance for today."[8]

In a review for her book Archaic Smile, Able Muse, a formalist online poetry journal, noted that, "For all of Stallings' formal virtuosity, few of her poems are strictly metrically regular. Indeed, one of the pleasant surprises of Archaic Smile is the number of superb poems in the gray zone between free and blank verse."[9] Her work has been favorably compared to the poetry of Richard Wilbur and Edna St. Vincent Millay.[10] In a review of her second book, Hapax, Peter Campion critically wrote that, "The meter and rhyme unfold elegantly, but at the expense of idiom," a criticism that is commonly aimed at the Formalist poets. On a positive note, Campion also states that, "[her best poems in the collection] match prosodic talent with intensely rendered feelings."[10] In a review for her collection Olives, Publishers Weekly stated that they were most impressed with those poems that were not responses to ancient mythology, noting, "When she unleashes her technical gifts upon poems in which she builds a new narrative instead of building upon an old one, Stallings achieves a restrained, stark poise that is threatening even by New Formalism standards." [11]


Her debut poetry collection, Archaic Smile, was awarded the 1999 Richard Wilbur Award and was a finalist for both the Yale Younger Poets Series and the Walt Whitman Award. Her second collection, Hapax (2006), was awarded the 2008 Poets' Prize.[12] Her poems have appeared in The Best American Poetry anthologies of 1994, 2000, 2015, 2016, and 2017. She has been awarded a Pushcart Prize, the Eunice Tietjens Prize, the 2004 Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award, and the James Dickey Prize.

In 2010, she was awarded the Willis Barnstone Translation Prize. In 2011, she won a Guggenheim Fellowship,[13] received a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship[14] and was named a Fellow of United States Artists.[15] In 2012, the book Olives was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.[16] She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.[17] In 2019, her book Like was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.[18]


  • Archaic Smile. University of Evansville Press. 1999. ISBN 0-930982-52-5.
  • Hapax. TriQuarterly. 2006. ISBN 0-8101-5171-5.
  • The Nature of Things. Penguin. 2007. ISBN 978-0-14-044796-5. Verse translation of Lucretius's De Rerum Natura.
  • Delanty, Greg; Matto, Michael, eds. (2010). The Word Exchange: Anglo-Saxon Poems in Translation. W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN 978-0-393-07901-2.
  • Olives. TriQuarterly. 2012. ISBN 978-0-81015-226-7.
  • Works and Days. Penguin. 2018. ISBN 978-0141197524. Verse translation of Hesiod's Works and Days.
  • Like. Farrar Straus Giroux. 2018. ISBN 9780374187323.
  • 'The Battle Between the Frogs and the Mice': A Tiny Homeric Epic. Paul Dry. 2019. ISBN 978-1589881426. Verse translation of the Batrachomyomachia.


  1. ^ a b c Stallings, A. E. (10 March 2006). Hapax. ISBN 9780810151710. Retrieved 26 August 2015.
  2. ^ "MacArthur Fellows Program: Meet the 2011 Fellows". September 20, 2011. John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Retrieved 20 September 2011.
  3. ^ "Alicia E. Stallings, Director of the Athens Centre poetry program, wins the "genius grant"!". Athens Centre. 21 September 2011. Retrieved 6 April 2015.
  4. ^ ""Interview with A. E. Stallings" by Ginger Murchison". Cortland Review. February 2002. Archived from the original on 17 May 2007. Retrieved 2007-04-03.
  5. ^ "A. E. Stallings". poetryfoundation.org. Retrieved 26 August 2015.
  6. ^ "You searched for A. E. STALLINGS – TheTLS". TheTLS. Retrieved 2017-10-13.
  7. ^ "Ricks". aestallings. Retrieved 2020-07-13.
  8. ^ "A. E. Stallings - MacArthur Foundation". www.macfound.org. Retrieved 2020-07-13.
  9. ^ "Archaic Smile by A. E. Stallings - reviewed by A. M. Juster - Poetry at Able Muse - Symposium Issue". ablemuse.com. Retrieved 26 August 2015.
  10. ^ a b "Eight Takes: Fenton, Strand, Hopler, Zukofsky, Stallings, Voigt, Kinnell, Wojahn". poetryfoundation.org. Retrieved 26 August 2015.
  11. ^ "Fiction Book Review: Olives by A.E. Stallings. /TriQuarterly, $16.95 trade paper (80p) ISBN 978-0-81015-226-7". PublishersWeekly.com. Retrieved 26 August 2015.
  12. ^ "Staff & Contacts". Atlanta Review. Archived from the original on 2016-08-02. Retrieved 2016-08-06.
  13. ^ "A. E. Stallings". www.gf.org. Retrieved 4 October 2015.
  14. ^ Lee, Felicia R. (20 September 2011). "MacArthur Foundation Announces Winners of 'Genius' Awards". The New York Times.
  15. ^ "United States Artists". Retrieved 26 August 2015.
  16. ^ John Williams (January 14, 2012). "National Book Critics Circle Names 2012 Award Finalists". The New York Times. Retrieved January 15, 2013.
  17. ^ "List of Active Members of American Academy of Arts & Sciences" (PDF).
  18. ^ https://www.pulitzer.org/prize-winners-by-category/224

External links[edit]

External audio
audio icon Conversation: A.E. Stallings, Poet and Translator Inspired by the Classics, PBS Newshour, Jeffrey Brown, September 30, 2011
audio icon In Greece, Getting By On The Brink Of A Financial Meltdown, For the Record, Rachel Martin, April 5, 2015