Joyelle McSweeney


258 Decio Faculty Hall
Notre Dame, IN 46556
+1 574-631-9870


Areas of study

  • Creative Writing


MFA in Creative Writing/Poetry, Iowa Writers Workshop, 2001
M.Phil. in English Studies, University of Oxford, 1999
B.A. in English and American Literature, Harvard University, 1997

Research and teaching interests

Creative writing, poetry, poetics, translation, sound, performance, literary form, dramatic form, genre, prophecy, decadence, ecopoetics


2022 Guggenheim Fellow Joyelle McSweeney is the author of nine books spanning poetry, prose, drama, translation, and criticism. Her debut volume The Red Bird (2001) was selected by Allen Grossman to inaugurate the Fence Modern Poets Series; her verse play Dead Youth, or, the Leaks (2012) inaugurated the Leslie Scalapino Prize for Innovative Women Playwrights. McSweeney's most recent poetry collection, Toxicon and Arachne (2020), called a "frightening and brilliant book" by Dan Chiasson in the New Yorker, was featured in the New York Times, Vanity Fair, MS., the Poetry Foundation, and elsewhere and awarded the Shelley Memorial Prize from the Poetry Society of America. Her influential essay collection The Necropastoral: Poetry, Media, Occults (2014) proposes a decadent ecopoetics and reads modern and contemporary literature in light of ecological phenomenon such as mutation, extinction and decay. McSweeney is a co-translator of the award-winning Yi Sang, Selected Works (2020).

With Johannes Göransson, she is a co-founder of the international press Action Books, which has built US readerships for poets from Asia, Latin America, Africa, Europe, and elsewhere while advocating for translators and the act of translation itself. In 2022, McSweeney was recognized with the Arts and Letters Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, honoring exceptional accomplishment in any genre.

McSweeney is a Professor of English at the University of Notre Dame and has twice been awarded The Rev. Edmund P. Joyce C.S.C. Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.

Representative publications

Toxicon and Arachne. New York: Nightboat Books. 2020.
The Necropastoral: Poetry, Media, Occults. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press Poets on Poetry Series. 2015.
Dead Youth, or, The Leaks. New York: Litmus Press. 2014.
Salamandrine, 8 Gothics. Vermont: Tarpaulin Sky Press. 2013.
Percussion Grenade. Albany: Fence Books. 2012.