Complete Poetry of James Agee

  • Author(s): Lofaro, Michael A., and Jesse Graves
  • Series: Collected Works of James Agee
  • Imprint: Univ Tennessee Press
  • Publication Date: 2024-11-01
  • Status: Not Yet Published - Will Back Order
  • Available in Hardcover - Cloth: Price $90.00 | Buy Now

“It was a pleasure to immerse myself in this fine addition to Agee Studies.” – Andrew Hudgins


While best known for his work as a novelist, journalist, and film critic—perhaps most so for the Pulitzer Prize-winning A Death in the Family and for Let Us Now Praise Famous Men—Knoxville-born writer James Agee was also an award-winning poet. Having published his first volume of poetry at just twenty-five years of age, he did not publish any subsequent books of poetry, and no definitive collection of his poems was ever compiled—until now.

After years of diligently exploring Agee’s writings, including many manuscripts that were never published, Michael A. Lofaro and Jesse Graves have compiled and edited the Complete Poetry of James Agee, consisting of nearly four times the number of Agee’s poems than was previously accessible.

In addition to the meticulous textual preservation of the poems, the volume enhances readers’ understanding of Agee’s work with detailed annotations for each poem and a separate section for textual commentary, shedding light on Agee’s wide range of knowledge and his sometimes-idiosyncratic use of syntax and punctuation. Likewise, an extensive introduction sets the stage for the collection, contextualizing Agee’s poetry within his other works. While literary scholars will appreciate this comprehensive collection of Agee’s extant poetry, general readers will be astonished at the breadth of yet another genre in the work of this protean writer.


MICHAEL A. LOFARO is professor emeritus of English at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He is the author or editor of seven volumes of scholarship related to James Agee, including A Death in the Family: A Restoration of the Author’s Text. He is the editor emeritus, along with general editor Hugh Davis, of The Works of James Agee series.

JESSE GRAVES is a professor of English and poet-in-residence at East Tennessee State University. He is the author of five poetry collections—including a 10th Anniversary Expanded Edition of his debut volume, Tennessee Landscape with Blight Pineand coeditor, with Ernest Lee and Thomas Alan Holmes, of Jeff Daniel Marion: Poet on the Holston.