Alan Altimont, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of English
PhD., English Literature, 1990, The University of Minnesota. Dissertation: “The Autobiographical Art of John Berryman.”
B.A., English Literature, 1976; Minor, Studio Art. Georgetown University Phi Beta Kappa
AREAS OF LITERARY INTEREST/SPECIALTY:
Modern and Contemporary American Poetry
Poetry Writing and Playwriting
COURSES REGULARLY TAUGHT:
British Literature I (Beowulfto Milton)
Modern American Poetry
Modern and Contemporary Drama
Shakespeare’s Comedies and Histories
Shakespeare’s Tragedies and Romances
Poetry Workshop I
Playwriting Workshop I
RECENT PUBLICATIONS AND PROJECTS:
A review of Nigel Smith’s Andrew Marvell: The Chameleonforthcoming in Discoveries Online.
“Marbod of Rennes: Suppressed Poems.” Readings for CULF 1318, The Book of Love, to be taught in Angers, Spring 2012.
“Damon and The Deipnosophists: Andrew Marvell’s Reading of Athenaeus of Naucratis.” Conference paper, South-Central Renaissance Conference, March 2010.
“Fish Tale” and “Hometown Skyline” (poems) in The Texas Observer, Feb. 22, 2008.
“The Meaning of Nedarin A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Notes & Queries, October/November 2007.
WHY LITERATURE, RESEARCH, AND TEACHING MATTER TO ME:
Life has sometimes seemed to me to be a huge conversation, and at its best that conversation is a prelude to what we hope will be significant and thoughtful action. We’re always talking or listening, at least to ourselves, before we do the important things in our lives. And we will often talk to people whose opinions we value. We may talk to pets, and maybe listen to them too. We listen to landscapes, seascapes, empty rooms, rooms full of strangers. We solicit, collect, mull over, distort or amend, and then we act. The action we take may be decisive or muffled, it may be physical or something we say, or write. In the end, it’s all about trying to make sense of the world and then making our presence in the world felt. Indeed, what else is there to do?
Literature, research, and teaching are simply time-honored, well-traveled, pleasant avenues for channeling this conversation we all have. Some might say that literature is this conversation at its best, its most beautiful, moving, and enjoyable, and I would have to agree, with some reservations. And though it may sound morbid, for me literature, research, and teaching allow us not only to speak and listen to the present, but also to the past, to the ancestors who do linger on, waiting for us to consult with them, to learn from their triumphs and follies. It comforts me to know they’re there, still part of the conversation, and that my job is to introduce them to the next generation, and help that generation learn how to join in with them.
I’m never as good at research or teaching as literature and my students deserve, but I’m so pleased they let me keep on trying.
Relaxing with my wife Dee and daughter Clementina, and scolding our dog Skittles.
Writing poetry and plays; going to poetry readings and plays.
Playing tenor recorder for King Edward’s Noyse, SEU’s early music ensemble.
Watching football and lacrosse (I played in high school and college).
Travel. Cooking and gormandizing. Drinking Italian wine and single malt scotch. Walking it off. Watching good movies and bad television. Idling about.