Richard Meier

Richard Meier

  • Professor of English; Writer-in-Residence
    Email Address:
    Office location:
    Lentz Hall 214

    Richard Meier directs the creative writing program, an emphasis within the English Department. He also curates and directs the Visiting Writers Series, through which writers of national prominence give public readings and meet with Carthage students.

    Prof. Meier has published five books of poetry: A Duration (Wave 2023); February March, April April (Oxeye Press, 2017) April; In the Pure Block of the Whole Imaginary (Omnidawn 2012); Shelley Gave Jane a Guitar (Wave Books 2006); and Terrain Vague, selected by Tomaz Salamun for the Verse Prize and published by Verse Press in 2001.

    In recent years he has practiced and taught workshops on writing and walking and other daily and durational writing practices. He regularly gives readings around the country at colleges, bookstores, art galleries, and wherever else writers gather. Previously, he held a full-time position as visiting poet at Columbia College in Chicago from 2007 to 2008. From 2002 to 2005, he was a visiting assistant professor of English at Beloit College, where he was also director of creative writing from 2004 to 2005. Previously he worked in public schools as a visiting artist, teaching poetry writing to elementary school students in New York with Teachers and Writers Collaborative and in Chicago with Hands-on Stanza, where he received the Gwendolyn Brooks Prize for excellence in teaching.

    He earned a B.A. in creative writing from Hamilton College in 1988 and an M.A. in English with a concentration in Creative Writing from Syracuse University in 1993. He joined the Carthage faculty in 2008.

    Recent publications available online: 

    Professor Meier has an excerpt from his poem essay featured in the Unearthed Online Literary Journal (Unearthed, April 1, 2019) and a complete poem-essay in Allium.

    Comments on Professor Meier’s writing:

    • The details of the poems accumulate to create a moving and intricate portrait of the speaker and his surroundings. Further, the richness of the work speaks to, as [Christian] Hawkey notes, ‘a reparative opulence that attends to acts of naming and unnaming as the first ethics of daily life. -American Poet
    • Like Baudelaire, Richard Meier is a poet of cities. Moreover, he recognizes the tension between the book form as a product of urban high capitalism and the traditional lyric. Shelley Gave Jane a Guitar showed him working out this tension in forms approximating those of conventional poems. In the Pure Block of the Whole Imaginary, in the vein of Baudelaire and Rilke but equally of Virginia Woolf and Victor Shklovsky, is a radical departure: an assemblage of untitled prose pieces registering the minute impressions of experience upon consciousness. Crucially, and perhaps because it is in prose, there is no clash between the book’s form and its matter.” -Robert Huddleston, Colorado Review
    • With his latest book, Richard Meier takes the New Sentence of the Language Poets and springs its rhythm. In these sturdy blocks of prose the country dapples the city, and by way of overlay and superimposition — of ideas, of images, of sounds — the poet keeps uncovering “that most inescapable of features, a new surface.” Though the word that pops up most frequently is “building,” close runner-ups are “field” and “meadow”: not in opposition to the built world, but as an argument for openness and density, epiphany and nourishment, as cousin kinds of poetic experience. In The Pure Block gives us, in its most burnished form yet, Meier’s gift for mingling them: “Into the pot of all successive seas, the sun dipped like a ladle.” Chris Nealon, author of The Matter of Capital: Poetry and Crisis in the American Century
    • “Like opening a door and going into the mountain,” Rick Meier’s effing exceptional new work sings its “e i e i o” from city to country via maypole, all the while “squeezing you…tightly to its side.” Both a poetics & a fellowship, here bodies and sentences revel in chiaroscuro—rainbow is eyebrow, mountain graffitied, and the empire crumbles beside the kids’ & protestors’ protestations. Dealing in presence & even more presence, these generous prose hunks fully occupy their space “far at last from the secret of things” where clouds are perfectly truant children, “a poem is painful,” and we are “happy to be living in the age of ibuprofen, pain pills in general.” This is the fetching, ingenuous, joyful song of a poet, a man, who lives a balanced resistance-acceptance, “present at the very creation of the world.” Sandra Doller, author of Man Years
    • The poems in Richard Meier’s In the Pure Block of the Whole Imaginary dissolve into liquid tenderness, slippage, grace, and each is nearly as fragile and complex and impure as the networks and systems we live in, or beside, including those we’ve constructed, like this one, language, such that we are reminded once again that it can be potentialized for plentitude and haptic reverie—a reparative opulence that attends to acts of naming and unnaming as the first ethics of daily life. I feel embraced by this book, by its generosity and brilliance. Christian Hawkey, author of Ventrakl. 
    • M.A. — English, Syracuse University
    • B.A. — Creative Writing, Hamilton College
    • ENG 2050 Creative Writing
    • ENG 3040 Advanced Writing: Poetry and Hybrid Prose
    • ENG 3040 Advanced Writing: Prose Fiction and Non-fiction
    • ENG 3140 Literary Genres: What is Poetry?
    • ENG 675J: Writing/Walking/Winter

    In recent years Prof. Meier has practiced and taught workshops on writing and walking and other daily and durational writing practices. He writes poetry, poem-essays, and prose fiction.

    Prof. Meier has published five books of poetry:

    Recent Selected Readings:

    • Wave Books Marathon Reading, Seattle, WA
    • Passages Bookshop, Portland, OR
    • Northwest Missouri State, Maryville, MO
    • ypofest, Fayettville, AR
    • OK#1 Gallery, Tulsa, OK
    • Prairie Lights Bookshop, Iowa City, IA
    • Leopold’s Bookshop, Madison, WI