Mary Jo Salter

Mary Jo Salter

Krieger-Eisenhower Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies

Gilman 74
Wednesday 9:30 am - 12:00 pm & by appointment

Mary Jo Salter is the author of eight books of poetry, most recently The Surveyors. A frequent reviewer and essayist, she is also a lyricist whose song cycle “Rooms of Light,” with music by Fred Hersch, premiered at Lincoln Center in 2007.  Her children’s book The Moon Comes Home appeared in 1989; her play Falling Bodies premiered in 2004. She is also co-editor, with Margaret Ferguson and Jon Stallworthy, of The Norton Anthology of Poetry (4th edition, 1996; 5th edition, 2005).

Salter became a permanent member of the Writing Seminars faculty in 2007, after 23 years of teaching at Mount Holyoke College. She is presently serving as acting chair of the department. 

In addition to poetry workshops, in which she often concentrates on the uses of form, her recent undergraduate courses have included Four American Women Poets: Dickinson, Moore, Bishop, Clampitt as well as The Poetry of War. Recent and forthcoming graduate courses consider the work of W.H. Auden; the modern sonnet; and the parallel work of the poets Heaney, Walcott, and Brodsky. 

Mary Jo Salter's essays and book reviews have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The New York Times Magazine, The New Republic, The Yale Review, The Atlantic, and elsewhere.

Her poems appear in many anthologies in the U.S., such as The Norton Introduction to Poetry (Norton), An Introduction to Poetry (Longman), Ravishing DisUnities (Wesleyan), Poetry 180, and 180 More (Random House). The Scribner series The Best American Poetry has included poems of hers in its 2000, 2005, 2006, and 2007 volumes. 

Among anthologies and journals published abroad, her poems have appeared in Australia in Vintage: Ten years of the Mildura Festival. She has had poems translated and published in Spanish, Italian, and Russian.