Stephanie Burt

Stephanie Burt is a poet and professor of English literature at Harvard. She is the author of Randall Jarrell and His Age, The Art of the Sonnet and After Callimachus, a selection of translations, some of which were first published in the LRB. Advice from the Lights, a collection of poems, came out in 2017.

Diary: D&D

Stephanie Burt, 9 June 2022

Dungeons & Dragons​, the fantasy role-playing game that filled the afternoons of geeky teenagers throughout the 1980s, is still going strong. CNBC reported that D&D ‘had its biggest year ever’ in 2020, with sales of books and other game material growing by 33 per cent – a way of surviving lockdown? The company that publishes the books, Wizards of the Coast, claims...

Two Poems

Stephanie Burt, 12 May 2022

Potomac River, 1982

where I grew upit was all wonderful anddefensive

the adults were kindand never neglectfulbringing fresh water and

grapes oranges and juiceand sunscreen always askingeach kid what we would

need or might need in theanticipated future with itsgoldenrod-bordered

cleared fieldits soft blacktopits estimated yield

we were told to look upwith reason to keeplooking forward

to a cloudless...

On Cortney Lamar Charleston

Stephanie Burt, 21 October 2021

Doppelgangbanger,​ the second collection of poems by Cortney Lamar Charleston (Haymarket, £12), describes growing up Black in white suburbia. In ‘Hip-Hop Introspective’:

Kids ask what FUBU means. White girls look at meconstantly. DMX never seems to be screaming.The underground heads north on my playlistswhile an old poster peels away from the wall.I’m beside myself...

Four poems after Callimachus

Stephanie Burt, 6 February 2020

(Epigrams, 22)

Visual depictions of suicide kill.          We buried Melanie that morning;the day after, Basil died.          I don’t know what he saw,or what she did, but I know          I’ve seen too many pictures of obliviondone up as heaven –This isn’t a poem so much as a warning.   ...

On Sophie Collins: Sophie Collins

Stephanie Burt, 18 July 2019

A ‘Mary Sue’​ is an implausibly skilful, attractive or successful protagonist who seems to be a stand-in for the author, especially in fanfiction. The term comes from Paula Smith’s parodic story ‘A Trekkie’s Tale’ (1973), originally published in a mimeographed journal for Star Trek fans. In mocking ‘Mary Sue’, Smith was not attacking fanfiction...

Toolkit for Tinkerers: The Sonnet

Colin Burrow, 24 June 2010

Sonnets have no rival. They’ve been written about kingfishers, love, squirrels, the moon (too often), God, despair, more love, grief, exultation, time, decay, church bells beyond the stars...

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