Professor Duncan Wu
News Story

Wu Receives Prestigious Distinguished Scholar Award by the Keats-Shelley Association of America

Department of English professor Duncan Wu was awarded the Distinguished Scholar Award by the Keats-Shelley Association of America at the Modern Language Association convention in Seattle. Raymond Wagner Professor in Literary Studies, Wu was selected for this honor in recognition for his career-long excellence in scholarship devoted to writers of the Romantic period (1780-1830). Only two individuals receive the award each year.

Of Chinese and English decent, Wu is the first naturalized American to receive this award. When he first came to the United States, he wanted to engage with the literature that has reflected and shaped the nation: Whitman, Frost, Stevens, Bishop, Derricotte, Forche. This immersion helped Wu feel welcome in a new country, and he has since worked tirelessly to share his vast knowledge of literature.

“That this award comes from an American organization, the Keats-Shelley Association of America, means everything,” says Wu. “To be part of this country, and to be able to make a contribution to it, is what immigrants desire – and that I can take to be the meaning of this award.”

Over the course of his career Wu has published almost forty books, ten of which were published and written during his time at Georgetown. He publishes widely for newspapers in the UK, including The Daily Telegraph, The Independent, and The Guardian. In addition to teaching, he has offered poetry classes at the Dog-Tag Bakery to former military personnel, introducing them to Shakespeare, Pope, Wordsworth, Browning, Yeats, Eliot, and Heaney.

“Duncan is known to all of you, and many more far and wide as one of the pillars and poets of our professional care,” says Susan Wolfson, professor of English at Princeton University. “As affable as he is prodigiously productive, as devoted to his students and the classroom as he is to our presses and journals, we find him everywhere with pleasure and profit.”

-by Shelby Roller (G’19)