Edmund Keeley

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Edmund Keeley
Born (1928-02-05) February 5, 1928 (age 93)
Damascus, Syria
OccupationWriter, translator, professor
NationalityUnited States
GenreFiction Nonfiction Translation Poetry

Edmund Leroy "Mike" Keeley (born February 5, 1928) is a prize-winning novelist, translator, and essayist, a poet, and Charles Barnwell Straut Professor Emeritus of English at Princeton University. He is a noted expert on Greek poets C. P. Cavafy, George Seferis, Odysseus Elytis and Yannis Ritsos, and on post-Second World War Greek history.


Edmund is the son of the American diplomat James Hugh Keeley, Jr., and brother of diplomat Robert V. Keeley. He spent his childhood in Canada, Greece, and Washington, D. C. before earning his B.A. from Princeton University in 1949. In 1952 he received a doctorate in Comparative Literature from Oxford University where he studied with a fellowship from the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation.

Edmund served twice as president of the Modern Greek Studies Association from 1970 to 1973 and 1980 to 1982, and as president of PEN American Center from 1992 to 1994. He retired from a long career of teaching English, Creative Writing, and Hellenic Studies at Princeton University in 1994.

His fiction and non-fiction are often set in Greece, where he spends part of each year, but also in Europe and the Balkans, where he has frequently traveled, and in Thailand and Washington, D. C.. He lived with his wife Mary in Princeton, N. J., from 1954 until Mary's death in 2012.



  • The Libation. Charles Scribner's & Sons. 1958.
  • The Gold-hatted Lover. Little, Brown and Company. 1961.
  • The Imposter. Doubleday. 1970.
  • Voyage to a Dark Island. Curtis Books. 1972.
  • Problems in rendering Modern Greek. 1975.
  • Cavafy's Alexandria: Study of a Myth in Progress. Harvard University Press. 1976.
  • Ritsos in Parentheses. Princeton University Press. 1979.
  • A Wilderness Called Peace. Simon & Schuster. 1985. ISBN 0-671-47416-2.
  • The Salonika Bay Murder, Cold War Politics and the Polk Affair. Princeton University Press. 1989.
  • School for Pagan Lovers. Rutgers University Press. 1993. ISBN 0-8135-1935-7.
  • Albanian Journal, the Road to Elbasan. White Pine Press. 1997. ISBN 1-877727-76-8.
  • On Translation: Reflections and Conversations. Harwood Academic Publishers. 1998.
  • Inventing Paradise. The Greek Journey, 1937-47. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 1999.
  • Some Wine for Remembrance. White Pine Press. 2002. ISBN 1-893996-15-8.
  • Borderlines, A Memoir. White Pine Press. 2005. ISBN 1-893996-33-6.
  • The Megabuilders of Queenston Park. Wild River Books. 2014. ISBN 978-0-9839188-4-4
  • Requiem for Mary. Greenhouse Review Press. 2015. ISBN 978-0-9838094-2-5
  • The Problem of Time and Other Poems. Greenhouse Review Press. 2018. ISBN 978-0-9838094-4-9

Editor and translator[edit]

  • Six Poets of Modern Greece (With Philip Sherrard) Alfred A. Knopf, 1961
  • Vassilis Vassilikos, 'The Plant,' 'The Well,' 'The Angel': A Trilogy (With Mary Keeley) Knopf, 1964.
  • Four Greek Poets (With Philip Sherrard) Penguin Books, 1965
  • George Seferis, Collected Poems: 1924-1955 (With Philip Sherrard) Princeton University Press, 1967 - ISBN 0-691-01300-4
  • C. P. Cavafy, Passions and Ancient Days (with George Savidis) Hogarth Press, 1972 ISBN 0-7012-0351-X
  • Modern Greek Writers: Solomos, Calvos, Matesis, Palamas, Cavafy, Kazantzakis, Seferis, Elytis (With Peter Bien) Princeton University Press, 1972
  • C. P. Cavafy, Selected Poems (With Philip Sherrard) Princeton University Press, 1972
  • Odysseus Elytis, The Axion Esti (with George Savidis) Pittsburgh University Press, 1972
  • C. P. Cavafy, Three Poems of Passion (with George Savidis) Plain Wrapper Press, 1975
  • C. P. Cavafy, Collected Poems (With Philip Sherrard and George Savidis) Princeton University Press, 1975, revised edition, Princeton University Press, 1992. - ISBN 0-691-01537-6
  • Angelos Sikelianos, Selected Poems (With Philip Sherrard) Princeton University Press, 1979
  • Odysseus Elytis, Selected Poems Viking-Penguin, 1981 - ISBN 0-670-29246-X
  • The Dark Crystal: An Anthology of Modern Greek Poetry (With Philip Sherrard) Denise Harvey & CO, 1981
  • Voices of Modern Greece: Selected Poems of C.P. Cavafy, Angelos Sikelianos, George Seferis, Odysseus Elytis, Nikos Gatsos (With Philip Sherrard) Princeton University Press, 1981 - ISBN 0-691-01382-9
  • Yannis Ritsos, Return and Other Poems Parallel Editions, 1983
  • C. P. Cavafy, A Selection of Poems (with Philip Sherrard) Camberwell Press, 1985
  • Yannis Ritsos, Exile and Return: Selected Poems, 1967-74 Ecco Press, 1985
  • The Legacy of R.P. Blackmur: Essays, Memoirs, Texts (with Edward T. Cone and Joseph Frank) Ecco Press, 1987 ISBN 0-88001-152-1
  • Yannis Ritsos: Repetitions, Testimonies, Parentheses Princeton University Press, 1991 ISBN 0-691-01908-8
  • The Essential Cavafy (With Philip Sherrard) Ecco Press, 1995 - ISBN 0-691-01491-4
  • George Seferis, Collected Poems, (With Philip Sherrard) Princeton University Press, 1995
  • George Seferis and Edmund Keeley: Correspondence, 1951-1971 Princeton University Library, 1997 ISBN 0-87811-042-9
  • A Century of Greek Poetry 1900-2000: Bilingual Edition (with Peter Bien, Peter Constantine, and Karen Van Dyck) Cosmos Publishing, 2004 - ISBN 1-932455-00-0
  • Selected Poems Of Odysseus Elytis (with Philip Sherrard) Anvil Press, 2007 ISBN 0-85646-355-8
  • The Greek Poets: Homer to the Present (co-editor) W. W. Norton, 2009
  • ″Angelos Sikelianos: Selected Poems″,(with Philip Sherrard), second bilingual edition, Denise Harvey (publisher), 1996, ISBN 960-7120-12-4


  1. ^ a b "Edmund Keeley". John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.
  2. ^ "2014 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation". pen.org. Retrieved August 1, 2014.
Preceded by
Straut Professor of English at Princeton University
Succeeded by
Michael Wood

External links[edit]