Wesleyan portrait of Stephanie Kuduk Weiner

Stephanie Kuduk Weiner

Professor of English

Downey House, 294 High Street, 300

Chair, English


BA University Minnesota Mpls
PHD Stanford University

Stephanie Kuduk Weiner

My recent research has involved the early nineteenth-century English poet John Clare as well as twentieth-century poets who looked to him as a model for a poetics that emphasized observation of the real world and accurate description on the page. I'm interested in the relation between the ways poems represent and talk about actual sense experience and the sorts of knowledge and wisdom they arrive at and communicate to readers.

Some of the questions I've been asking, which still puzzle and interest me, are: How do poets convince us that they have actually observed nature or social life? What are the poetic markers of accuracy and realism? How are those markers like and unlike those found in realist fiction, in botanical drawing, in paintings, and in other media? What sorts of meanings do poems about the world claim for themselves? Do those meanings inhere in the world, and/or are they a human invention?

Lately I've also become interested in various modes of English-to-English translation. Usually these translations involve gaps in time or space.  I'm writing now about verse paraphrases of the King James Bible, and I hope to write something soon about Wordsworth's modernizations of Chaucer--all five hundred pages of them, built up by Wordsworth in repeated experiments throughout his career. These are translations from an earlier English into one that for the Romantics was their contemporary idiom. The translations in space that intrigue me move from regional dialects and Scottish English to standard English.  Here I'm especially fascinated by poets who wrote in a dialect they didn't grow up speaking. All these English-to-English translations seem to me forays into and out of a "sister tongue," a language that is not-quite-foreign but also not-quite-native. How did these forays shape the language of poetry in the nineteenth century and beyond? 

So, right now I'm working on articles about the biblical paraphrases, dialect poetry, Geoffrey Grigson's editions of Clare and his own poems of the 1940s, representations of reading in Clare's work, and poems that seek a radically minimal justification for the literary activity of noticing and recording.  



Clare's Lyric: John Clare and Three Modern Poets (Oxford UP, 2014). The three modern poets are Arthur Symons, Edmund Blunden, and John Ashbery.

“Minds and Bodies,” Oxford Companion to Victorian Poetry, ed. Matthew Bevis (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013).

“On the Publication of John Clare’s The Rural Muse, 1835,” BRANCH: Britain, Representation and Nineteenth-Century History, ed. Dino Franco Felluga (2012), first published April 12, 2012 at http://www.branchcollective.org/?ps_articles=stephanie-kuduk-weiner-on-the-publication-of-john-clares-the-rural-muse

"Knowledge and Sense Experience in Swinburne's Late Poetry," in A.C. Swinburne and the Singing Word, ed. Yisrael Levin (Ashgate, 2010).

"Listening with John Clare," Studies in Romanticism (Fall 2009)

"Sight and Sound in the Poetic World of Ernest Dowson," Nineteenth-Century Literature 60: 4 (March 2006): 481-509.

Republican Politics and English Poetry, 1789-1874 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2005).

"Victorian Poetry as Victorian Studies," Victorian Poetry 41: 4 (Winter 2003): 513-18.

"A Sword of a Song': Swinburne's Republican Aesthetics," Victorian Studies 43: 2 (Winter 2001): 253-79.

"Sedition, Chartism, and Epic Poetry in Thomas Cooper's Purgatory of Suicides," Victorian Poetry 39: 2 (Summer 2001): 165-86.

Academic Affiliations

Office Hours

Spring 2017:

Mon. 2:00-4:00, Tues. 2:00-4:00, Wed. 10:30-11:30, Thurs. 1:30-2:30

Location: Downey House (294 High Street), room 300.


Summer 2017
ENGL 220 - 01
The Armchair Adventurer

Fall 2017
ENGL 288 - 01
Romantic Poetry

ENGL 288 - 02
Romantic Poetry