Stephen Cope

Stephen Cope (B.A., University of California, Santa Cruz; M.A., Ph.D., University of California, San Diego) teaches English and Comparative Literature at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York, where he is an Assistant Professor specializing in Global Modernisms. His recent critical writing has appeared in The Blackwell Companion to Modernist Poetry and essays on the refusal of work in James Joyce’s fiction and the erotics and politics of reading engendered by Gertrude Stein’s “fiction” are forthcoming. Cope’s critical edition of the previously unpublished and uncollected writings of George Oppen was published by the University of California Press as George Oppen: Selected Prose, Daybooks, and Papers. His poems have appeared in numerous print and online journals, and he is the host of Conference of the Birds (, an internationally celebrated weekly radio program and podcast of “classical, folk, demotic, art, and experimental musics from Africa, Asia, the Middle-East, the Americas, Europe and places between and beyond.” Cope was a founding editor, with Catherine Taylor and Eula Biss, of Essay Press, the first publishing imprint to focus on book-length experimental and lyric essays. In addition to his work in traditional academic settings, Cope has taught in the Bard Prison Initiative, and he is a faculty sponsor of Hobart and William Smith’s Second Chances prison education program in Western New York. His book project, Modern Problems, addresses the cultural politics of literary form in experimental, global Modernisms. “Conference of the Birds,” his ongoing series of poems, emerges from a critical and creative engagement with the music featured on his podcast. Cope has served on the faculty of Bard’s Language and Thinking Program since 2007.