Joseph Donahue

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Joseph Donahue is an American poet, critic, and editor. Donahue was born in Dallas, Texas, on September 22, 1954 and grew up in Lowell, Massachusetts. He attended Dartmouth College for his undergraduate degree and went on to Columbia University and lived for many years in New York City. He now resides in Durham, North Carolina, where he is a senior lecturing fellow at Duke University.

Poetry collections by Joseph Donahue[edit]

  • Before Creation (1989)
  • Monitions of the Approach (1991)
  • World Well Broken (1995)
  • Terra Lucida (1998)
  • Terra Lucida XVI-XX (1999)
  • Incidental Eclipse (2003)
  • In This Paradise: Terra Lucida XXI-XL (2004)
  • The Copper Scroll (2007)

Anthologies edited by Joseph Donahue[edit]

  • Primary Trouble: An Anthology of Contemporary American Poetry (1996; with Edward Foster and Leonard Schwartz)[1]
  • The World in Time and Space: Towards a History of Innovative American Poetry in Our Time (2002; with Edward Foster)

Critical reception[edit]

Of Donahue's collection Incidental Eclipse, John Ashbery has written "Something is going under, something is coming to the surface; each is documented by two voices, one speaking in italics. There is little comfort here, but there is glamor in the inevitable, 'incidental' screen of darkness moving across the light. This sequence confirms Donahue as one of the major American poets of this time."

Of the same collection, the poet Gustaf Sobin has stated that "In these sustained breath-strips, life's disparate, hopelessly disassociated elements find themselves spliced into single, all-inclusive sequences. In associating myth with matter, our deepest longings with our most dire anxieties, Donahue strikes an uninterrupted series of grace notes..."


  1. ^ Shams, Ishteyaque, ed. (2004). New Perspectives on American Literature. Atlantic Publishers & Dist. p. 62. ISBN 978-81-269-0393-1. Retrieved 6 August 2011.