Allen Grossman


Biography of Allen Grossman

Allen Grossman (January 7, 1932 – June 27, 2014) was a noted American poet, critic and professor.

Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1932, Grossman was educated at Harvard University, graduating with an MA in 1956 after several interruptions. He went on to receive a PhD from Brandeis University in 1960, where he remained a professor until 1991. In 1991, he became the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities at The Johns Hopkins University where until 2005 he taught in the English Department, primarily focusing on poetry and poetics. He continued to write after his retirement from teaching.

Grossman's first marriage ended in divorce; afterwards he married novelist Judith Grossman, and they stayed married until his death. His children are Jonathan Grossman and Adam Grossman from the first marriage, and Bathsheba Grossman, Austin Grossman, and Lev Grossman from the second.

On November 11, 2006, on the occasion of his retirement, several friends, colleagues, and students of Grossman held a joint reading in his honor. These included Michael Fried, Susan Howe, Ha Jin, Mark Halliday, Breyten Breytenbach, Susan Stewart and Frank Bidart. The event culminated with a reading by Grossman of poetry from his latest book of poems, Descartes' Loneliness.

Grossman died of complications from Alzheimer's at a nursing home in Chelsea, Mass. on June 27, 2014. He was 82.

PoemHunter.com Updates

Descartes' Loneliness

(Meditation Three)


Toward evening, the natural light becomes
Intelligent and answers, without demur:
"Be assured! You are not alone. . . ."
But in fact, toward evening, I am not
Convinced there is any other except myself
To whom existence necessarily pertains.

[Report Error]