Rosmarie Waldrop

Rosmarie Waldrop was born in Kitzingen, Germany, in 1935. She emigrated to the United States in 1958. She is a poet, novelist, essayist and co-editor of Burning Deck Press. She studied literature, art history and musicology at the University of Würzburg and later at the University of Freiburg and the University of Aix-Marseille. After emigrating to the USA, she completed her PhD at the University of Michigan in 1966. She taught at Wesleyan University, Tufts and Brown.

“I wanted to be a poet, but thought it was not possible after I came to the US and “lost” my language. I started writing poetry in German, but had only very tentative efforts by the time I emigrated, nothing that could sustain my writing in German while living in an English-speaking environment. I have wondered how so many expatriate writers have been able to do just that. It followed, I thought, that the way I could work with poetry would be translating (into German) and teaching. It was only gradually that I mustered the courage to attempt poems in English and to translate into English. It came with the realization that the discrepancies between my two languages need not be an obstacle, but could, on the contrary, become a generative force.” Source.

“I love getting the body into my writing, especially to subvert ideas like “pure thought.” At the same time I’m of course allergic against the stereotype, of the woman as sheer body.’ Source.


  • Between, from the book The Aggressive Ways of the Casual Stranger



  • The Aggressive Ways of the Casual Stranger, NY: Random House, 1972
  • The Road Is Everywhere or Stop This Body, Columbia, MO: Open Places, 1978
  • When They Have Senses, Providence: Burning Deck, 1980
  • Nothing Has Changed, Windsor, VT: Awede Press, 1981
  • Differences for Four Hands, Philadelphia: Singing Horse, 1984; repr. Providence: Paradigm Press, 1999
  • Streets Enough to Welcome Snow, Barrytown, NY: Station Hill, 1986
  • The Reproduction of Profiles, NY: New Directions, 1987
  • Shorter American Memory, Providence: Paradigm Press, 1988
  • Peculiar Motions, Berkeley, CA: Kelsey St. Press, 1990
  • Lawn of Excluded Middle, NY: Tender Buttons, 1993
  • A Key Into the Language of America, NY: New Directions, 1994
  • Another Language: Selected Poems, Jersey City: Talisman House, 1997
  • Split Infinites, Philadelphia: Singing Horse Press, 1998
  • Reluctant Gravities, NY: New Directions, 1999
  • (with Keith Waldrop) Well Well Reality, Sausalito, CA: The Post-Apollo Press, 1998
  • Love, Like Pronouns, Omnidawn Publishing, 2003
  • Blindsight, New York: New Directions, 2004
  • Splitting Image, Zasterle, 2006
  • Curves to the Apple, New Directions, 2006
  • Driven to Abstraction, New Directions, 2010


  • The Hanky of Pippin’s Daughter, Barrytown, NY: Station Hill, 1986
  • A Form/ of Taking/ It All, Barrytown, NY: Station Hill, 1990

Essays and criticism

  • Against Language?, The Hague: Mouton/Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1971
  • The Ground Is the Only Figure: Notebook Spring 1996, Providence: The Impercipient Lecture Series,Vol.1, No.3 (April 1997)
  • Lavish Absence: Recalling and Rereading Edmond Jabès, Wesleyan University Press, 2002
  • Dissonance (if you are interested), University Alabama Press, 2005




  • She received the 2008 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation for her translation of Ulf Stolterfoht’s book Lingos I – IX.
  • Her translation of Almost 1 Book / Almost 1 Life by Elfriede Czurda was nominated for the Best Translated Book Award (2013).


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