TYR Talks

James Merrill's Letters and Legacy

A conversation about the renowned poet's enduring influence

In this TYR Talks roundtable, “James Merrill: His Letters and Legacy,” co-sponsored by the Whitney Humanities Center and the Yale English Department’s Theory and Media Studies Colloquium, a slate of today’s leading poet-critics sat down with TYR Editor Meghan O’Rourke and Assistant Editor Brandon Menke to discuss Merrill’s enduring influence, as well as some of their favorite selections of Merrill’s crystalline prose. In the above video, Stephen Yenser, co-editor, with Langdon Hammer, of the new collection A Whole World: Letters from James Merrill, along with panelists Roger Reeves, Srikanth Reddy, Shane McCrae, Maureen N. McLane, and Dan Chiasson discuss how the letters reveal the many sides of a complex figure—his rich diversity of tone, his politics of friendship, his wit and world-making—and how his work particularly resonates in these troubled times.

Originally published:
May 21, 2021

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