In Memoriam: Marjorie Perloff (1931–2024)

Photo by Emma Bee Bernstein.

This year's overwhelming procession of deaths within the poetry community continues with news that critic Marjorie Perloff passed away on March 24 at the age of 92.

Our own Al Filreis posted a remembrance today, noting, "I spoke for a lively, *lively* hour with the late and already much-missed Marjorie Perloff just a week ago. I loved her energy always and even then — was and am inspired by her skills & daring as a careful reader of and talker about supposedly 'difficult' poetry." He continues, "From the moment we met in 1982 (at the Huntington Library, where we shared days together for a month), she showed interested in me and my work and was unfailingly supportive. Even last week, during our final conversation, she wanted to know what I was doing, how my family was, how my ideas were evolving, what I was reading." He also encouraged everyone "to have a look back at that array of comments and criticism" in his 2012 co-edited Jacket2 feature "Marjorie Perloff: A Celebration."

You can find more of Perloff's work at her PennSound author page, which archives a wide array of recordings spanning 35 years, including talks, interviews, podcasts, and more. One key highlight is Perloff's epic, three-part 2009 Close Listening program hosted by Charles Bernstein, in which she reads from her 2004 memoir Vienna Paradox and discusses topics ranging from Kristallnacht and literary figures associated with Nazi Germany to her European outsider's perspective on American arts and culture, as well as several key "schisms that seem to divide 20th century poetry" — Yeats and the Futurists, O'Hara and Lowell, Pound and Stein/Stevens. Another is her 2011 visit to UPenn as one of that year's Kelly Writers House Fellows

We send our condolences to Perloff's family and her friends and colleagues worldwide.