Rosmarie Waldrop

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Rosmarie Waldrop (born August 24, 1935) is a contemporary American poet, translator and publisher. Born in Germany, she has lived in the United States since 1958. She has lived in Providence, Rhode Island since the late 1960s. Waldrop is Coeditor and Publisher of Burning Deck Press, as well as the author or coauthor (as of 2006) of 17 books of poetry, two novels, and three books of criticism.


  • 1 Early life in Germany
  • 2 University years
  • 3 In the United States
  • 4 Poetry and translations
  • 5 Awards and achievements
  • 6 Further reading
  • 7 Selected Publications
    • 7.1 Poetry
    • 7.2 Prose
    • 7.3 Translations
  • 8 External links
  • 9 References & notes

Early life in Germany

Waldrop was born in Kitzingen am Main on August 24, 1935. Towards the end of the Second World War, she joined a travelling theatre, but returned to school after in early 1946. At school, she studied piano and flute and played in a youth orchestra. At Christmas 1954, the orchestra gave a concert for American soldiers stationed at Kitzingen. Afterwards, one of the audience, Keith Waldrop invited members of the orchestra to listen to his records. He and Rosmarie became friendly and worked together over the next few months, translating German poetry into English.

University years

That same year, she entered the University of Würzburg, where she studied literature, art history and musicology. In 1955, she transferred to the University of Freiburg, where she discovered the writings of Robert Musil and participated in a protest against a lecture given by Heidegger. She then moved to the University of Aix-Marseille, where Keith spent 1956-7 on his GI Bill. At the end of the year, he returned to the University of Michigan. In 1958, he won a Major Hopwood Prize. He sent most of the money to Rosmarie to pay for her passage to the United States.

In the United States

The couple married, and Rosmarie started studying at Michigan, where she got a Ph.D. in 1966. She also became extremely active in literary, musical and artistic circles around the university and the wider Ann Arbor community. She began serious translation of French and German poetry. In 1961, the Waldrops bought a secondhand printing press and started Burning Deck Magazine. This was the beginning of Burning Deck, which was to become one of the most influential small press publishers of innovative poetry in the United States. As such, she is sometimes closely associated with the Language School.

Poetry and translations

Rosmarie Waldrop started publishing her own poetry in English in the late 1960s. Since then, she has published over three dozen books of poetry, prose and translation. Today her work is variously characterized as verse experiment, philosophical statement and personal narrative. Of the many formative influences on her mature style, a crucial influence was a year spent in Paris in the early 1970s, where she came into contact with leading avant garde French poets, including Claude Royet-Journoud, Anne-Marie Albiach, and Edmond Jabès. These writers influenced her own work, but equally, she became one of the main translators of their work into English and Burning Deck one of the main vehicles for introducing their work to an English-language readership.

Awards and achievements

Rosmarie Waldrop has given readings and published in many parts of Europe as well as the U.S. She has received numerous awards and fellowships and was made a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French government. She was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2006.

Further reading

Rosmarie & Keith Waldrop: Ceci n'e pas Keith Ceci n'e pas Rosmarie: Autobiographies, (Providence, Rhode Island, 2002)

Selected Publications


  • The Aggressive Ways of the Casual Stranger, NY: Random House, 1972
  • The Road Is Everywhere or Stop This Body, Columbia, MO: Open Places, 1978
  • When They Have Senses, Providence: Burning Deck, 1980
  • Nothing Has Changed, Windsor, VT: Awede Press, 1981
  • Differences for Four Hands, Philadelphia: Singing Horse, 1984; repr. Providence: Paradigm Press, 1999
  • Streets Enough to Welcome Snow, Barrytown, NY: Station Hill, 1986
  • The Reproduction of Profiles, NY: New Directions, 1987
  • Shorter American Memory, Providence: Paradigm Press, 1988
  • Peculiar Motions, Berkeley, CA: Kelsey St. Press, 1990
  • Lawn of the Excluded Middle, NY: Tender Buttons, 1993
  • A Key Into the Language of America, NY: New Directions, 1994
  • Another Language: Selected Poems, Jersey City: Talisman House, 1997
  • Split Infinites, Philadelphia: Singing Horse Press, 1998
  • Reluctant Gravities, NY: New Directions, 1999
  • (with Keith Waldrop) Well Well Reality, Sausalito, CA: The Post-Apollo Press, 1998
  • Love, Like Pronouns, Omnidawn Publishing, 2003
  • Blindsight, New York: New Directions, 2004
  • Splitting Image, Zasterle, 2006
  • Curves to the Apple[1], New Directions, 2006


  • Against Language?, The Hague: Mouton/Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1971
  • The Ground Is the Only Figure: Notebook Spring 1996, Providence: The Impercipient Lecture

Series,Vol.1, No.3 (April 1997)

  • Lavish Absence: Recalling and Rereading Edmond Jabès, Wesleyan University Press, 2002
  • Dissonance (if you are interested), University Alabama Press, 2005


  • The Book of Questions by Edmond Jabès, 7 vols. bound as 4, Wesleyan UP, 1976, 1977, 1983, 1984
  • Paul Celan: Collected Prose, by Paul Celan, Manchester & NY: Carcanet & Sheep Meadow, 1986
  • The Book of Dialogue by Edmond Jabès, Wesleyan UP, 1987
  • Late Additions: Poems by Emmanuel Hocquard (with Connell McGrath), Peterborough, Cambs.: Spectacular Diseases, 1988
  • The Book of Shares by Edmond Jabès, Chicago UP, 1989
  • Some Thing Black by Jacques Roubaud, Elmwood Park, IL: Dalkey Archive, 1990
  • The Book of Resemblances by Edmond Jabès, 3 vols., Wesleyan UP, 1990, 91, 92
  • From the Book to the Book by Edmond Jabès, Wesleyan UP, 1991
  • The Book of Margins by Edmond Jabès, Chicago UP, 1993
  • A Foreigner Carrying in the Crook of His Arm a Tiny Book by Edmond Jabès, Wesleyan UP, 1993
  • Heiligenanstalt by Friederike Mayröcker, Providence: Burning Deck, 1994
  • The Plurality of Worlds of Lewis by Jacques Roubaud, Normal, IL: Dalkey Archive Press, 1995
  • Mountains in Berlin: Selected Poems by Elke Erb, Providence: Burning Deck, 1995
  • The Little Book of Unsuspected Subversion by Edmond Jabès, Stanford UP, 1996
  • With Each Clouded Peak by Friederike Mayröcker (with Harriett Watts), Los Angeles, CA: Sun & Moon Press, 1998
  • A Test of Solitude by Emmanuel Hocquard, Providence: Burning Deck, 2000
  • (with Harry Mathews and Christopher Middleton) Many Glove Compartments by Oskar Pastior, Providence: Burning Deck, 2001
  • Desire for a Beginning Dread of One Single End by Edmond Jabès (Images & Design by Ed Epping), New York, New York : Granary Books, 2001
  • Shape of the City Changes Faster, Alas, Than the Human Heart by Jaques Roubaud, Dalkey Archive Press; Translatio edition, 2006 ISBN 1-56478-383-9
  • Burning Deck
  • Between Tongues: An Interview / & 5 Poems on this page, scroll down to 17 Dec 2005 for links to her work
  • Several recordings at Penn Sound
  • A review of Curves to the Apple at Jacket
  • Rosmarie Waldrop: Dictionary of Literary Biography v.169 (1996) access the entire article here on-line which includes "Bibliographical Information"; "Biographical and Critical Essay"; and "Further Readings about the Author".[2]
  • References & notes

    1. ^ brings together three volumes: The Reproduction of Profiles, Lawn of Excluded Middle , and Reluctant Gravities
    2. ^ Made available on-line by the author of this piece (Steve Evans) who provides the following Note: "The body of this text is approximately 7800 words in length (ten printed pages in the large format used by the DLB). Written in 1994-1995, the entry does not take into account Rosmarie Waldrop's substantial accomplishments since that time".
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