Lisa Russ Spaar

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Lisa Russ Spaar
Occupationprofessor, University of Virginia
Alma materUniversity of Virginia

Lisa Russ Spaar is a contemporary American poet, professor, and essayist.

She is currently a professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Virginia and the director of the Area Program in Poetry Writing.[1] She is the author of numerous books of poetry, most recently Vanitas, Rough: Poems and Satin Cash: Poems. Her latest collection, Orexia, will be published by Persea Books in 2017. The Virginia Quarterly Review describes her work as

the perfect marriage of the realism of William Carlos Williams . . . and the sleepless heaven-seeking of such cloistered ecstatics as Emily Dickinson and Gerard Manley Hopkins.

Her poem, Temple Gaudete, published in IMAGE Journal, won a 2016 Pushcart Prize.

Spaar has also edited several anthologies, including All That Mighty Heart: London Poems, which Billy Collins says "gathers [a] mighty swirl of poetry into a gorgeous volume whose variety and heft rival the city itself— its smoke, roar, and flow."[2]


Spaar graduated summa cum laude from the University of Virginia with a B.A. in 1978. Two years later, in 1980, she returned to the University of Virginia to complete her education with an M.F.A. in Creative Writing (Poetry).


Spaar's books of poetry include Orexia (forthcoming from Persea Books, 2017),[3] Vanitas, Rough (2012), Satin Cash: Poems 2008, Blue Venus (2004), and [ Glass Town (1999), for which she won the Rona Jaffe Award for Emerging Women Writers in 2000.

Spaar's poems have been widely published in many places, including Boston Review,[4] Poetry,[5] Ploughshares,[6] The Paris Review,[7] SLATE,[8] The Virginia Quarterly Review,[9] IMAGE Journal,[10] Plume,[11] The Alabama Literary Review,[12] Blackbird,[13] Spirituality & Health, Cerise Press,[14] Connotations Press,[15] Waxwing,[16] TUBA, 32 Poems,[17] Shenandoah,[18] TriQuarterly,[19] The Kenyon Review,[20] The Yale Review,[21] Denver Quarterly, Quarterly West,[22] Verse, Poetry East, Drunken Boat,[23] The Hollins Critic, The Southwest Review, Crazyhorse, The Laurel Review, Bellingham Review,[24] College English,[25] Meridian,[26] Brilliant Corners,[27] The Atlanta Review, The Southern Poetry Review,[28] Poet Lore, Free Verse,[29] Carolina Quarterly, American Literary Review, 64, Indiana Review,[30] Smartish Pace,[31] & elsewhere.


Currently, Spaar writes a series of articles entitled "Second Acts: A Second Look at Second Books of Poetry," published through the Los Angeles Review of Books.[32]

Spaar has contributed more than 70 articles to the Chronicle of Higher Education, including the Monday's Poem series[33] and the Spaar on Poetry series.[34]


Spaar has received numerous teaching honors and awards.



  • Past grief. University of Virginia. 1982.
  • Cellar. Alderman Press. 1983.
  • Blind Boy on Skates, Trilobite Chapbooks of the University of Northern Texas Press, 1987.
  • Glass Town, poems. Red Hen Press. 1999. ISBN 978-1-888996-18-0.
  • Acquainted With the Night: Insomnia Poems. Columbia University Press. Fall 1999. ISBN 978-0-231-11544-5.
  • Blue Venus: Poems, Persea Books, 2004.
  • All That Mighty Heart: London Poems (ed.). University of Virginia Press. 2008. ISBN 978-0-8139-2717-6.
  • Satin Cash: Poems. Persea Books. 2008. ISBN 978-0-89255-343-3.
  • Vanitas, rough : poems. New York: Persea Books. 2012.
  • Orexia: Poems. Persea Books. 2017.



List of poems[edit]

Title Year First published Reprinted/collected
Trailing Mary and Martha: 3AM
  • Spaar, Lisa Russ (2012). Vanitas, rough : poems. New York: Persea Books.
  • Spaar, Lisa Russ (Jan–Feb 2013). "Trailing Mary and Martha: 3AM". Poetry. Spirituality & Health. 15 (6): 20.


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  36. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-06-04. Retrieved 2009-08-28.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  37. ^ Weeks, Linton (12 November 2000). "Book Report". The Washington Post. Retrieved 10 July 2015.

External links[edit]