Dan Chiasson

Lorraine C. Wang Professor of English

Poet and critic.

I write poems when I am able; I write reviews and essays the rest of the time. I have been a regular contributor to The New Yorker since 2000. I also write regularly about poetry, art, and popular music for The New York Review of Books. I have published six books, most recently The Math Campers (2020). My next project is a book about my hometown and the role it played in shaping the ideas and career of Bernie Sanders: Bernie for Burlington: A Biography of his Rise in a Changing Vermont, 1968-1991 (Pantheon, 2025). I enjoy teaching poetry of all periods, with an emphasis on recent American poets.


  • B.A., Amherst College
  • Ph.D., Harvard University

Current and upcoming courses

  • Working mainly in her bedroom and around her family's home in Amherst, Massachusetts, Emily Dickinson composed nearly 1800 poems in her lifetime. This body of work, composed by hand on stationery or scrap paper, was not widely known in her lifetime; Dickinson circulated it among friends, or kept it in the bottom drawer of her bureau, for her own enjoyment and for the readers of the future to discover. We will consider Emily Dickinson's poems as brilliantly shaped and executed performances of extreme emotions, from elation to despair; as the creation of a richly elaborated personal religion and homemade philosophy; as the decanting of an individual nineteenth-century woman's ordinary life and experiences, within the patriarchal structures and strictures of the day; as marks on paper, made within a material and household culture; as pathways in a distribution network invented by Dickinson, in opposition to conventional publishing.