Richard A. Dennis Professor of English, University Distinguished Professor

Major Jackson is the author of four books of poetry, including Roll Deep (2015), Holding Company (2010), Hoops (2006) and Leaving Saturn (2002), which won the Cave Canem Poetry Prize for a first book of poems. He is the editor of Library of America’s Countee Cullen: Collected Poems. A recipient of fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Guggenheim Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, Major Jackson has been awarded a Pushcart Prize, a Whiting Writers’ Award, and has been honored by the Pew Fellowship in the Arts and the Witter Bynner Foundation in conjunction with the Library of Congress. He has published poems and essays in American Poetry Review, Callaloo, The New Yorker, The New York Times Book Review, Paris Review, Ploughshares, Poetry, Tin House, and included in multiple volumes of Best American Poetry. Major Jackson lives in South Burlington, Vermont, where he is the Richard Dennis Green and Gold University Distinguished Professor at the University of Vermont. He serves as the Poetry Editor of The Harvard Review.


grey rectangle with text reading Forthcoming Book The Absurd Man, Norton, forthcoming 2020
cover of The Best American Poetry 2019, edited by Major Jackson  The Best American Poetry 2019 (Editor), Scribner, 2019
Renga for Obama: An Occasional Poem (Editor),
Houghton Library and President & Fellows at
Harvard University, March,
Roll Deep.
W.W. Norton,
The Collected Poems of Countee Cullen
(Editor). Library of America,
Holding Company.
W.W. Norton,
Hoops. W.W. Norton, Winter 2006.
Leaving Saturn: Poems. University of Georgia Press,
The Sweet Hurried Trip Under an Overcast Sky. Floating Wolf Quarterly, Fall, 2013.


Awards and Recognition

  • Montalvo Arts Center, Lucas Artist Fellow, 2018
  • Vermont Book Award, 2016
  • Best American Poetry, 2016
  • National Endowment for the Arts,
  • Artist Fellowship, 2015
  • Best American Poetry, 2014
  • Guggenheim Fellowship, 2013
  • Best American Poetry, 2013
  • Best of the Best American Poetry, 2013
  • Emily Clark Balch Prize for Poetry, Virginia Quarterly Review, 2012
  • Best American Poetry, 2011
  • NAACP 41st Annual Image Awards, Outstanding Literary Work – Poetry, Finalist, 2011
  • Sidney Harman Writer - in - Residence, Baruch College, 2010
  • Richard Dennis Green & Gold Professor, Endowed Professorship, 2008
  • Bread Loaf Writers Conference, Middlebury College: Amanda Davis Returning Fellow, 2007
  • NAACP 38th Annual Image Awards, Outstanding Literary Work – Poetry, Finalist, 2007
  • Columbia University, Distinguished Visiting Writer, 2007
  • Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Artist Fellowship, 2006 - 2007
  • Jack Kerouac Writer-in-Residence, Univ. of Massachusetts-Lowell, 2005 - 2007
  • Pushcart Prize, 2004
  • The Frost Place in Franconia, NH., Artist Residency, 2004
  • Best American Poetry, 2004
  • Whiting Writers Award, Artist Fellowship, 2003
  • National Book Critics Circle Award (Poetry), Finalist, 2003
  • Witter Bynner Fellowship, Library of Congress, 2003
  • Bread Loaf Writers Conference, Middlebury College: Stanley P. Young Fellow in Poetry, 2002
  • Louisiana Division of the Arts, Artist Fellowship, 2002
  • Bread Loaf Writers Conference, Middlebury College: Louis Untermeyer Scholar in Poetry, 2001
  • Cave Canem Poetry Prize, First Book Award, 2000
  • Louisiana State Board of Regents Eminent Scholars Program, Endowed Professorship, 2000
  • Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Writing Fellowship, 2000
  • Bread Loaf Writers Conference, Writers’ Scholarship (declined), 1999
  • WHYY-TV12 (PBS-Philadelphia), Artist Commission, 1998
  • The Concerto Soloists Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia., Artist Commission, 1996
  • Cave Canem, Artist Residency, 1996
  • Bread Loaf Writers Conference, Work Scholarship, 1996
  • Pew Fellowship in the Arts, Artist Fellowship, 1995
  • The MacDowell Artist Colony, Artist Fellowship, 1994
  • National Performance Network, Artist Residency, 1994
  • Dark Room Collective, member since 1994

Areas of Expertise and/or Research

Creative Writing, Poetics, Contemporary Pop Culture 


  • M.F.A. University of Oregon


Office Location:

430 Old Mill

Office Hours:

Spring 2020: On Sabbatical

Courses Taught

  • Writing Poetry
  • Poetry in Rap
  • Advanced Writing: Poetry
  • Contemporary American Poetry
  • 20th Century Poetry Movements
  • Survey in African-American Poetry
  • Lyric Sequence: A Global Epic
  • Poetry of Black Arts Movement
  • Race and Ethnicity in Literary Studies
  • Poetry & Visual Arts