Srikanth (Chicu) Reddy
Department of English
Office: Rosenwald 415E
Phone: (773) 834-9095
I am a poet and literary scholar working at the intersection of critical and creative practice in the humanities.
As a poet, I am interested in the theory and politics of literary form, with an emphasis on how complex formal deliberations may shed light on the philosophical ground of ethical action. As an Asian American writer, I frame these aesthetic investigations within the broad diasporic context of a transnational poetics. My first collection, Facts for Visitors, received the 2005 Asian American Literary Award for Poetry. In my new book, Voyager, I serially "erase" a single text -- the memoir of the late UN Secretary General and former Nazi SS officer Kurt Waldheim -- in order to explore the plurality of narratives and subjectivities concealed within any totalizing dream of identity. My interest in alternative poetics ramifies into the practice of literary collaboration as well. The poet Daniel Beachy-Quick and I have recently completed a book-length collaboration, Conversities, which is forthcoming from 1913 Press.
My scholarly work concerns twentieth-century American poetry, focusing on Modernism as well as contemporary poetry and poetics. My forthcoming critical study, Changing Subjects: Digressions in Twentieth-Century American Poetry, foregrounds a tradition of American writers from Walt Whitman to John Ashbery who cultivate a discursive ethos of literary digression in order to explore the poetics of knowledge, narration, and identity under the curious conditions of modernity. I am currently at work on a book titled Groundwork which seeks to integrate critical and literary approaches to the problem of conceptualizing a transnational poetics for our present historical moment.
At the University of Chicago, I teach both creative writing “workshop” courses—from beginning poetry workshops to special topics courses on avant-garde writing practices—as well as upper-level literature seminars on themes such as “Stein and Wittgenstein” and “The Cinematic Lyric.”
Graduate: Beginning Poetry Workshop: Letters to Young Poets; Advanced Poetry Workshop: Viewing & Re-viewing Poetry; The Cinematic Lyric; Advanced Poetry: Service Learning; Advanced Poetry: Writing Practices; Stein & Wittgenstein; The Cantos of Ezra Pound; Asian American Poetry
Undergraduate: Readings in World Literature; Philosophical Perspectives; Beginning Poetry Writing; Introduction to Poetry Writing; Asian American Poetry
- Facts for Visitors: Poems (University of California Press, 2004)
- Voyager (University of California Press, 2011)
- Readings in World Literature (chapbook, Omnidawn Books, 2011)
- Conversities, with Daniel Beachy-Quick (1913 Press, 2012)
- Changing Subjects: Digressions in Twentieth-Century American Poetry (Oxford University Press, 2012)
Ph.D., Harvard University, 2008. M.F.A., University of Iowa, 2000. Teaching at Chicago since 2003.