Juliana Spahr, PhD

Affiliated Faculty

Teaching Philosophy

When I ask myself what is valuable about teaching, my answers tend toward unabashedly utopian ideals and values represented by collaborative and conversational learning, rethinking and critiquing stagnant conventions of thought, encouraging polyvalent exchanges of ideas, and finding nourishment in the broadly ranging forms of language that are the instruments of our heterogeneous humanity. When I teach, I emphasize range. I do not make the lyric poet write in modernist fragmentation, or the opposite. Instead, I work to get students to see poetic forms as tools with long traditions and encourage them to make informed choices. I spend as much time in my workshops talking with students about poetry as a culturally engaged practice as I do talking about line breaks.


  • PhD, Department of English, State University of New York, Buffalo, NY
  • BA, Department of Languages & Literature, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY

Areas of Expertise

  • Creative Writing

Meaningful Action in the World

I believe that part of being a poet in a time of collapsing governmental funding and disinterest from multinational publishing conglomerates involves supporting the art through publishing and editing. I have been a member of a collective small press called Subpress, founded another press for anarchist and communist writing called Commune Editions, coedited the journal Chain for twelve years and the book series Chain Links for five.

Pronouns: She/They


  • Du Bois’s Telegram: Literary Resistance and State Containment. (scholarship), Cambridge: Harvard U P, 2018
  • That Winter the Wolf Came (poetry), Oakland: Commune Editions, 2015
  • Army of Lovers (prose) with David Buuck. San Francisco: City Lights, 2013
  • Well Then There Now (poetry), Cambridge: Black Sparrow P, 2011
  • The Transformation (prose) Berkeley: Atelos P, 2007
  • This Connection of Everyone with Lungs (poetry) Berkeley: U of California P, 2005


Affiliation MFA Creative Writing