Mohr Visiting Poets

Each year, the Creative Writing Program welcomes a distinguished poet to teach a Stanford writing seminar to undergraduates. These unique classes are kept small--limited to no more than 15 students--and they focus on a subject of the poet's expertise and choosing. These seminars are made possible with the generous support of Lawrence and Nancy Mohr.

The poet also holds a public reading and colloquium. For information about events with previous Mohr Visiting Poets, refer to our Past Events page.


Bergin O’Malley

Michael Collier


Michael Collier is the author of eight collections of poetry, including The Ledge, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and Los Angeles Times Book Prize. His most recent book, The Missing Mountain: New and Selected Poems, appeared in 2021. He has published a collection of essays, Make Us Wave Back: Essays on Poetry and Influence; a translation of Euripides’ Medea; has edited three poetry anthologies and co-edited with Charles Baxter and Edward Hirsch, A William Maxwell Portrait. His honors include an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters as well as fellowships from the Guggenheim and Rockefeller foundations and the National Endowment for the Arts. He has been a visiting lecturer at Johns Hopkins and Yale universities and the Zell Distinguished Visiting Professor at University of Michigan. From 1994-2017, he directed the Middlebury College Bread Loaf Writers’ Conferences and taught for many years at the University of Maryland, College Park, before retiring in 2021.


English 192V The Occasions of Poetry


  • Offered: Spring 2023

  • Instructor: Professor Collier

  • Satisfies the Intermediate/Advanced Poetry requirement

  • Enrollment granted via application. To be considered for enrollment, please submit the Spring 2023 application.

Riddles, prayers, curses, songs, incantation, invective, praise, personal and historical memory, art, cultural identity, love and death, in fact a lot of love and death, are just a few of the occasions of poetry we will consider in this course. I hope by doing so we come to see that the full range of human experience is the only thing that limits poetry’s occasions. We will read intensively in modern and contemporary poetry as well as practice the craft of writing poems. We will discuss what we read and write from a poet’s point of view, rather than a scholar’s, paying particular attention to structural and formal elements. We will also take up general aesthetic questions regarding the art of poetry by reading essays written by poets about the practice of their craft. The format of the class will blend workshops with discussions. Ultimately, I hope we see that one of the most useful and important occasions that poetry provides is the creation of a small, passionate group dedicated to supporting and encouraging each other as we learn our craft as poets.


Mohr Visiting poets Visiting Period
A. Van Jordan 2021-2022
Ada Limón 2020-2021
Carl Phillips


Louise Glück 2019-2020
Louise Glück 2018-2019
Louise Glück 2017-2018
Robert Pinsky 2016-2017
Jane Hirshfield 2015-2016
Louise Glück 2014-2015
Ann Carson 2012-2013
Louise Glück 2011-2012
Stephen Dobyns 2010-2011
Kay Ryan 2009-2010
Max Doty 2008-2009
Robert Bly 2007-2008
Robert Pinsky 2006-2007
Li-Young Lee 2005-2006
Heather McHugh 2004-2005
Thom Gunn 2003-2004
Yusef Komunyakaa 2002-2003
Robert Hass 2001-2002