John Talbot

Associate Professor, English

4023 JFSB


Research Areas: , , ,

Teaching Experience

I ordinarily teach courses on the Greek and Roman inheritance in English literature; on poetry, especially its formal aspects; and on literary translation. I also regularly teach surveys of world literature and give workshops in writing poetry.

I’ve twice directed the London Centre program, and three times directed programs in association with the Istituto Dante Alighieri in Siena, Italy.


Trained as a classicist, I study classical and English literary relations, with particular emphasis on the influence of Greek and Latin on English writers’ syntax and poetic metres.

I also write on literary translation and poetry, and write about all of these subjects in the general press, including The New Criterion, The Weekly Standard, and the Yale Review.

Selected Publications

Selected Books

  • Rough Translation (2012)
  • The Well-Tempered Tantrum (2004)

Selected Chapters

  • ‘Auden and Lowell at the End of the Classics’, The Oxford History of Classical Reception in English Literature, vol. 5 (Oxford UP, 2019)
  • ‘The Principle of the Deguerreotype: Translation of the Classics’, The Oxford History of Classical Reception in English Literature, vol. 4 (Oxford UP, 2015)
  • ‘A Late Flowering of English Alcaics’, Perceptions of Horace (Cambridge UP, 2009)
  • ‘Eliot’s Seneca, Ted Hughes’s Oedipus’, Ted Hughes and the Classics (Oxford UP, 2009)

Selected Articles

  • ‘Critical Implications of the Caesura in Horatian Alcaics’, Classical Journal 103.1 (2007)
  • ‘The Bright Ghosts of Antiquity’, The New Criterion (September 2011)
  • ‘The Poet Laureate of Atoms’, The Weekly Standard (15 June 2009)

Selected poems

  • ‘Tongue of Prayer’, Yale Review (2015)
  • ‘After Callimachus’, The American Scholar (2008)
  • ‘It Was Over’, Poetry (2000)


In addition to ordinary departmental service assignments (e.g., hiring committee, curriculum subcommittee, I have served in the Honors Program as English Thesis Coordinator and frequently as director of programs in London and Italy, and national professional organization service.

Citizenship assignments

  • Executive Board, Association of Literary Scholars and Critics
  • Chairman of National Conference Committee, Association of Literary Scholars and Critics
  • Organizer of conference, ‘Revisiting C. H. Sisson’, London, 2017
  • Director of English Honors Thesis Program
  • Coordinator of London Centre English curriculum

Office Hours
TTh 1:30 - 3:00pm or by appointment