My first book, American Bards: Walt Whitman and Other Unlikely Candidates for National Poet, tells the story of three antebellum poets whose names are seldom, if ever, mentioned in the same breath as Whitman’s, even though their projects for American poetry ran parallel to Whitman’s own. Laboring in mutual obscurity from one another and unaware of Whitman’s unlikely bid to be the nation’s representative bard, James M. Whitfield (an African American separatist and abolitionist), Eliza R. Snow (a Mormon pioneer and women’s leader), and John Rollin Ridge (a Cherokee journalist and sometime advocate for Native rights) similarly claimed to speak for a nation that deemed them unfit national representatives.
Together with Joanna Levin, I co-edited Whitman among the Bohemians, a collection of essays about Walt Whitman’s experiences with the bohemian writers and artists who gathered at Charles Pfaff’s beer cellar in antebellum New York. Robert Weidman and I co-direct a website about this group called The Vault at Pfaff’s. Other digital projects that I’ve worked on include collaborations with the Walt Whitman Archive on nineteenth-century editions of Whitman’s poetry published by William Michael Rosetti, Ernest Rhys, and Elizabeth Porter Gould.
Joanna Levin and I collaborated again on Walt Whitman in Context, a contribution to the Cambridge University Press “Literature in Context” series featuring 38 essays by established and emerging Whitman scholars.
I’ve published scholarly essays on a variety of topics in journals such as ELH, American Literary History, Nineteenth-Century Literature, ESQ, Poe Studies, and The Walt Whitman Quarterly Review, and in book collections such as The American Literature Scholar in the Digital Age, The Oxford Handbook of Edgar Allan Poe, Teaching with Digital Humanities: Tools and Methods for Nineteenth-Century American Literature, and Americanist Approaches to the Book of Mormon.
I am currently writing the manuscript for a book titled Whitman’s Poe: A Study of Literary Networks in Bohemian New York, and with Zachary Hutchins and Christopher N. Phillips I am editing A Key to Uncle Tom’s Cabin for the Oxford University Press Collected Works of Harriet Beecher Stowe.