Saskia Hamilton / credit: Jacqueline Mia Foster

Saskia Hamilton

Vice Provost, Professor of English, Director of Women Poets at Barnard




110 Milbank Hall, 401C Barnard Hall


Saskia Hamilton joined the Barnard English Department in 2002, and she teaches courses in the history of lyric poetry, poetics, poets’ letters, twentieth century poetry, and poetry writing. She is the author of As for Dream (Graywolf, 2001); Divide These (Graywolf, 2005); Canal: New and Selected Poems (Arc [UK], 2005); and Corridor (Graywolf, 2014). She is also the editor of The Letters of Robert Lowell (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2005), The Dolphin Letters, 1970-1979: Elizabeth Hardwick, Robert Lowell and Their Circle (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2019), and a new edition of Lowell's The Dolphin: Two Versions, 1972, 1973 (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2019). She is the co-editor (with Thomas Travisano) of Words in Air: The Complete Correspondence between Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008). She received her Ph.D. from the Editorial Institute at Boston University.

Professor Hamilton's work has been supported by poetry fellowships from the Ruth Lilly Foundation, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts, and she was the recipient of the Arts and Letters Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts & Letters in 2021. Her scholarship has been supported by the Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Her editions of The Dolphin Letters and The Dolphin received the 2020 Pegasus Award for Poetry Criticism from the Poetry Foundation. The Dolphin Letters also received the Morton N. Cohen Award for a Distinguished Edition of Letters from the Modern Language Association. She was the recipient of the Gladys Brooks Junior Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award from Barnard College in 2006.

Professor Hamilton was appointed Vice Provost for Academic Programs and Curriculum in July 2018.

  • Ph.D., Boston University
  • M.A., New York University
  • B.A., Kenyon College

  • Poetry
  • Editorial Studies

The Dolphin Letters, 1970-1979: Elizabeth Hardwick, Robert Lowell, and Their Circle, editor (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2019)

Robert Lowell, The Dolphin, Two Versions: 1972, 1973, editor (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2019)

Corridor (Graywolf, 2014)

Words in Air: The Complete Correspondence between Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell, co-editor (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2008).

Divide These (Graywolf, 2005)

The Letters of Robert Lowell, editor (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2005)

As for Dream (Graywolf, 2001)

Kenyon Review Podcasts: Poet, editor, and Kenyon alumna Saskia Hamilton talks to Kenyon Professor of Religious Studies Royal Rhodes about Robert Lowell, the importance of silence, and Nobel Prize winner Bob Dylan:


BBC Radio 3, A Life in Study: Robert Lowell

Author Colm Toibin profiles the turbulent and brilliant life of 20th-century American poet Robert Lowell, once considered the greatest living poet in the English language. Featuring Frank Bidart, Grey Gowrie, Saskia Hamilton, Kay Redfield Jamison, Gail Mazur, Kathleen Spivak, and Helen Vendler.


The Way We Live Now: Hilton Als and America's Poets, hosted by The Green Space, WNYC, and the Academy of American Poets

The New Yorker‘s Hilton Als continues his residency at The Green Space exploring the ways poets and poetry reflect contemporary American life. Poet Saskia Hamilton discusses her upcoming book, The Dolphin Letters, featuring the correspondence between one of the most famous couples of 20th-century literature: Elizabeth Hardwick and Robert Lowell. It focuses on the last seven years of Lowell’s life, a time of personal crisis and creative innovation for both writers. Acclaimed actress Kathleen Chalfant joins to read excerpts.