Thomas Gardner

Thomas Gardner

Thomas Gardner

Alumni Distinguished Professor


417 Shanks Hall 
181 Turner St. NW 
Blacksburg, VA 24061


(540) 231-6901


Department Membership



  • Contemporary American Poetry
  • Literature and Theology
  • The Lyric Essay
  • Emily Dickinson

Professional Activities

  • Modern Language Association
  • Academy of Teaching Excellence


  • Ph.D. University of Wisconsin
  • M.A. Syracuse University
  • B.A. Bucknell University

Research Interests

    Awards and Honors

    • Guggenheim Fellowship, 2002
    • Commonwealth of Virginia Outstanding Faculty Award, 2003
    • Wine Teaching Award, 2006

    Selected Publications 


    • John in the Company of Poets: The Gospel in Literary Imagination (Waco: Baylor University Press, 2011)
    • A Door Ajar: Contemporary Writers and Emily Dickinson (New York: Oxford University Press, 2006)
    • Regions of Unlikeness: Explaining Contemporary Poetry (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1999)
    • Discovering Ourselves in Whitman: The Contemporary American Long Poem (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1989)

    Edited Books

    Jorie Graham: Essays on the Poetry (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2005)

    Lyric Essays

    Poverty Creek Journal (North Adams, MA: Tupelo Press, 2014)


    • "Dickinson, Calvin, and the Drama of Perception," Religion and Literature, 46.1 (Spring 2014)
    • "A Private Bible," Raritan, 34 (Summer 2014)
    • “In Exile from our Words,” on Stanley Cavell’s Little Did I Know, Books & Culture (2014)