Michael Thurston

Provost and Dean of the Faculty; Helen Means Professor of English Language & Literature

Michael Thurston

Contact & Office Hours

College Hall



Ph.D., A.M., University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

B.A. University of North Texas


Michael Thurston has taught at Smith since 2000. He teaches courses on 20th-century poetry in English, modernism, American literature and American studies. His primary research interest is modern and contemporary poetry, and he is currently at work on a history of poetry in English after modernism. In addition, he is writing a book about Cape Cod, following Henry David Thoreau's path from Eastham to Provincetown. Essays on blindness and emasculation in T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land and on Robert McAlmon's Contact Editions are also under construction. In 2010, he was awarded Smith's Sherrerd Prize for Distinguished Teaching; it is the professional achievement of which he is most proud. He is currently serving as provost and dean of the faculty.

Selected Publications

Thurston has published numerous essays and reviews and three previous books: Reading Postwar British and Irish Poetry (with Nigel Alderman; Blackwell, 2014), The Underworld in Twentieth-Century Poetry: From Pound and Eliot to Heaney and Walcott (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009), and Making Something Happen: American Political Poetry between the World Wars (University of North Carolina Press, 2001). He co-edited Modernism, Inc.: Body, Capital, Memory, with Jani Scandura (NYU Press, 2001).

His short fiction has appeared in aptConfrontation, Cupboard, Fringe, Knock, Quick Fiction and Southeast Review. With Andrea Stone, he published a poetry chapbook, The Tibetan for Bada Bing (2011). He is currently the reviews editor for the Massachusetts Review and writes regularly for the magazine's blog.