Brandon Menke

Assistant Professor

Assistant Professor
206 Decio Faculty Hall
Notre Dame, IN 46556


Areas of study

  • African and African American
  • American
  • Environmental
  • Gender and Sexuality


Ph.D., English Language and Literature, Yale University
MPhil, English Language and Literature, Yale University
M.A., English Language and Literature, Yale University
MFA, Creative Writing (Poetry), New York University
A.B., summa cum laude, English Literature, Washington University in St. Louis

Research and teaching interests

Poetry and poetics; 20th- and 21st-century American literatures, art, and visual culture; queer theory, lyric theory, and aesthetics; sexuality, race, and gender studies; regionalism and cosmopolitanism; multilingual (post)modernism; literary space; temporality; environmental humanities and feminist ecologies; psychological forms and sociological approaches; transmediation; hybrid forms; experimental criticism; collaboration; translation; mysticism and the supernatural


Brandon Menke is a poet and assistant professor of English at the University of Notre Dame. He teaches and researches American literatures and visual art of the twentieth- and twenty-first centuries, with a particular focus on poetry and poetics, LGBTQ* studies and queer theory, visual culture, literary space, and transmediation.

His current book project, Slow Tyrannies: Queer Lyricism, Visual Regionalism, and the Transfigured World, examines lyric form, regionalist aesthetics, and networks of queer intimacy in American literature and visual art from the 1920s to the 1970s. The book uncovers and details the development of a reparative and regenerative queer lyricism distinguished by its commitments to intermediality, homoerotic desire, past time, and originary place. Based on how such poets and artists as Hart Crane, Marsden Hartley, Langston Hughes, Federico García Lorca, Grant Wood, Elizabeth Bishop, and John Ashbery bridge image and text, the project deviates from normative schematizations of verbal-visual relations, which have tended to present poetry and painting as embattled camps vying for cultural authority. Slow Tyrannies considers how media are syncretized through novel approaches to signification and aesthetic space that resist stigmatization and affirm queer forms of being.

Dr. Menke received his Ph.D. in English Language and Literature from Yale University and his MFA in Creative Writing from New York University. He has served as an assistant editor of The Yale Review, poetry editor and editor-in-chief of Palimpsest: Yale Graduate Literary and Arts Magazine, and poetry editor of Washington Square Review. He is a visual artist and designer and has served as a Guest Critic in the Yale School of Art.

Dr. Menke has taught courses on a variety of topics including the avant-garde sensibilities of the New York School of poets and painters, representations of the American city in modern and contemporary literature and art (with special attention paid to formations of race, sexuality, gender, and class), creative writing (poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and drama), and surveys of American literatures from the mid-19th century to the present.

Dr. Menke’s work appears or is forthcoming in POETRY, The Yale Review, Court Green, Modernism/modernity Print Plus, Post45: Contemporaries, Ballast, bæst: a journal of queer forms & affects, Columbia Journal, Denver Quarterly, and elsewhere.

Representative publications

Passagens Estranhas: Translating the Obscene with Hilda Hilst and John Keene.” Post45: Contemporaries, John Keene Cluster, ed. Brittney Edmonds. October 2023.

“Octavo” and “Double Vision,” in dialogue with the poetry of Alina Stefanescu. Ballast. April 2023.

“Leather Idol,” “Fleet June,” and “Ulticrostic.” Ballast. April 2023.

“Souvenirs,” “Leopard-Skin Cache-Sexe,” and “Bisque Head.” Court Green. Spring 2022.

Interview with Wayne Koestenbaum: “The Polymath on His Creative Process.” The Yale Review. April 2022.

“High Chaparral” and “Mossy Horn Smiles,” co-authored with Jahan Khajavi. bæst: a journal of queer forms & affects. Fall 2021.

“Above One’s Bend,” co-authored with Jahan Khajavi. Columbia Journal. Fall 2020.

“Devil’s Garden,” “Not by a Longshot,” “Sunstroke,” and “Pando at the Du Kum Inn,” co-authored with Jahan Khajavi. Denver Quarterly. Fall 2020.