Robert West,


2008 Lee Hall
P.O. Box E
Department of English
Mississippi State, MS 39762
(662) 325-2376

Robert West

Professional Bio

Robert West is the editor of The Complete Poems of A. R. Ammons, published by Norton.

Robert West (B.A., Wake Forest; M.A., Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) teaches Survey of Contemporary Literature, Literature of the South, Form and Theory of Poetry, American Literature II, World Literature II, and Honors Composition, in addition to graduate seminars on 20th-Century Literature and Southern Literature. His essays, book reviews, and poems have appeared in Alabama Literary Review, American Tanka, Appalachian Heritage, Appalachian Journal, Asheville Poetry Review, Assisi, The Carolina Quarterly, Christian Science Monitor, The Cortland Review, Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review, Iron Mountain Review, The Journal, Journal of Kentucky Studies, Light, Nantahala: A Review of Writing and Photography in Appalachia, Nua: Studies in Contemporary Irish Writing, Pembroke Magazine, Poetry, Southern Cultures, Southern Literary Journal, Southern Poetry Review, Southern Quarterly, Tar River Poetry, Yemassee, and elsewhere. He is the author of three poetry chapbooks: Convalescent (2011) Best Company (2005) and Out of Hand (2007). He served as Interim Director of the Shackouls Honors College in 2010-2011.


Ph.D. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
M.A. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
B.A. Wake Forest University

Teaching interests:

American, British, and Irish literature after 1900


Selected Publications:

Selected Essays:

“‘We All Need Resurrecting’: Transformations and Restorations in the Work of George Ella Lyon.” Appalachian Heritage 38.3 (2010): 30-41.

“‘Here’s the Church, Here’s the Steeple’: Robert Morgan, Philip Larkin, and the Emptiness of Sacred Space.” Southern Quarterly 47.3 (2010): 91-97.

 “Introduction.” Catalpa, by George Ella Lyon. 2nd ed. Nicholasville, KY: Wind, 2007. 1-4.

“‘This Is Paradise’: Michael McFee’s Poems about Heaven.” Appalachian Heritage 33.2 (2005): 30-35.

“‘Their Clamorous Little Species’: Collective Experience of the Sublime in Fred Chappell’s Midquest.” Publications of the Mississippi Philological Association 2004: 67-72.

“‘To Make You See’: Michael McFee’s Poems about Photographs.” Iron Mountain Review 19 (2003): 15-22.

“A Study in Sharpening Contrast: Robert Morgan and the Distinction between Prose and Poetry.” Pembroke Magazine 35 (2003): 77-81.

“‘The Stillness After’: Reflections on the Poetry of James Still.” Journal of Kentucky Studies 19 (2002): 126-131. Rpt. in James Still: Critical Essays on the Dean of Appalachian Literature. Ed. Ted Olson and Kathy H. Olson. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2007. 141-46.

“‘That Has a Ring to It’: Song in the Poetry of Kathryn Stripling Byer.” Iron Mountain Review 18 (2002): 16-23.

“Everywhere but His Own Country: Three Essays on Charles Wright and the American South.” Asheville Poetry Review 9.1 (2002): 93-103.

“Reforming Romance in Two Short Stories by Lee Smith.” Pembroke Magazine 33 (2001): 50-57. Rpt. in Short Story Criticism 142 (2011). Ed. Jelena Krstović. 301-04.

Selected Poems:

“Prospect.” Christian Science Monitor 103.10 (28 Jan. 2011): 46. Also available at

“Angel,” “Cover-Up,” and “Sacrifice.” Motif, Vol. 2: Come What May, An Anthology of Writings about Chance. Ed. Marianne Worthington. Louisville, KY: MotesBooks, 2010. 257.

“Two Singers.” Motif, Vol. 1: Writing by Ear. Ed. Marianne Worthington. Louisville, KY: MotesBooks, 2009. 111.

“Convalescent,” “The Dolphin,” and “A Knight.” Able Muse 7 (summer 2009). Available at .

“At a Loss.” Southern Poetry Review 44.2 (2006): 41. Rpt. in Don’t Leave Hungry: Fifty Years of Southern Poetry Review.  Ed. James Smith. Fayetteville: U of Arkansas P, 2009. 309.

“Toll.” Southern Poetry Review 43.2 (2005): 68. Rpt. in Don’t Leave Hungry: Fifty Years of Southern Poetry Review.  Ed. James Smith. Fayetteville: U of Arkansas P, 2009. 309.

“Echo.” American Life in Poetry. Column 114. 2006. Syndicated newspaper column and website edited by 2004-2006 U.S. Poet Laureate and 2005 Pulitzer Prize-winner Ted Kooser. Sponsored by the Library of Congress, the Poetry Foundation, and the Dept of English at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. Available at .

“Three Poets.” Poetry 179.4 (2002): 215. Also available at .

"Three Directors." Poetry 179.4 (2002): 216. Also available at

“Two Evangelists.” Poetry 179.4 (2002): 216. Also available at Rpt. in The Poetry Anthology, 1912-2002. Ed. Joseph Parisi and Stephen Young. Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 2002. 478.

Poetry Chapbooks:



Georgetown, KY:
Finishing Line Press, 2011.
23 pp.Out of Hand

Out of Hand

Louisville, KY:
Scienter Press, 2007.
22 pp.

Best CompanyBest Company

Chapel Hill, NC:
Blink Chapbooks, 2005.
21 pp.