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Photograph of David Keplinger

David Keplinger Professor Department of Literature

Additional Positions at AU
MFA Director, Creative Writing
MFA, Penn State University

A professor of Literature at AU since 2007, David Keplinger is the recipient of the 2022 American University Teacher/Scholar of the Year Award. He is the author of eight collections of poetry, most recently Ice (Milkweed Editions, 2023), The World to Come (Conduit Books, 2021), winner of the Minds on Fire Open Book Prize, and Another City (Milkweed, 2018), which was awarded 2019 UNT Rilke Prize. Other collections include The Long Answer: Selected and New Poems (Texas A&M 2020), The Most Natural Thing (New Issues, 2013) and The Prayers of Others (New Issues, 2006), which won the Colorado Book Award. His first collection, The Rose Inside, was chosen by the poet Mary Oliver for the 1999 T.S. Eliot Prize.

In 2020 Keplinger was selected for the Emily Dickinson Award from the Poetry Society of America. He has been awarded the Cavafy Prize from Poetry International, the Erskine Prize from Smartish Pace, and two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as funding from the DC Council on the Arts and Humanities, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the Danish Council on the Arts, and a two-year Soros Foundation fellowship in the Czech Republic. In 2011 he produced By and By, an album of eleven songs based on the poetry of his great-great grandfather, a Civil War veteran.

His translations of Danish poet Carsten René Nielsen have appeared in three volumes, World Cut Out with Crooked Scissors (2007), House Inspections (2011), a Lannan Literary Series Selection, and Forty-One Objects (Bitter Oleander Press, 2019), which was a finalist for the National Translation Award. His collaboration with German poet, Jan Wagner, entitled The Art of Topiary was published in 2017 by Milkweed Editions.

Keplinger’s work has been included in numerous anthologies in the United States, as well as in China and Northern Ireland, and he has taught at the universities of Ostrava (Czech Republic) and Kosice (Slovakia) as well as co-founding and teaching in the summer creative writing institute at John Cabot University in Rome (2015-2016). His areas of interest include contemporary American poetry, European poetry and poetics in the twentieth century, poetic meter and form, creative writing pedagogy, translation and artistic collaboration, and the poetry of witness (with emphases on the poets of World War I, and Holocaust literature).
See Also
Literature Department
Writing Center
For the Media
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Spring 2023

  • HNRS-050 Honors Supplement: Creative Writing: Poetry

  • LIT-401 Creative Writing: Poetry

  • LIT-705 Seminar on Translation

Summer 2023

  • LIT-401 Creative Writing: Poetry

Fall 2023

  • LIT-107 Creative Writing Across Genres

  • LIT-701 Advanced Poetry Workshop