Michael Blumenthal

Michael Blumenthal

Visiting Professor of Law


Michael Blumenthal, formerly Director of Creative Writing at Harvard, graduated from the Cornell Law School with a J.D. degree in 1974. 

His eighth book of poems, "No Hurry: Poems 2000-2012," was published by Etruscan Press. He is the author of the memoir "All My Mothers and Fathers" (Harper Collins, 2002), and of "Dusty Angel" (BOA Editions, 1999). His novel "Weinstock Among The Dying," which won Hadassah Magazine’s Harold U. Ribelow Prize for the best work of Jewish fiction, has recently been re-issued in paperback, and his collection of essays from Central Europe, "When History Enters the House," was published in 1998. 

Five of his books—including his memoir, a novel, a collection of selected poems, and his non-fiction book, “Because They Needed Me”: The Incredible Struggle of Rita Miljo To Save The Baboons of South Africa—were recently published in Germany by Verlag André Thiele of Mainz. 

His "Just Three Minutes, Please: Essays from National Public Radio" and "The Greatest Jewish-American Love in Hungarian History: Short Stories" were published in 2014. The American edition of his book on Rita Miljo and her baboons, “Because They Needed Me,” was published in March 2016.


  • B.A. Philosophy/Economics, 1969, State U. of NY at Binghamton
  • J.D. Cornell Law School, 1974
  • M.A. Equivalent, Psychology, Antioch University, 1986-87



  • Correcting The World: Selected Poetry and Writings of Michael Blumenthal (Legal Studies Forum, University of West Virginia, 2007)


  • Sympathetic Magic: Poems (The Water Mark Poets of North America First Book Prize, 1980) Water Mark Press, New York.(Fifth Printing, 1999)
  • Days We Would Rather Know: Poems (Viking-Penguin, New York, 1984)
  • Laps: A Book-Length Poem (The University of Massachusetts Press Juniper Prize, 1984)
  • Against Romance: Poems (Viking-Penguin, 1987)
  • The Wages of Goodness: Poems (University of Missouri Press, Columbia, Missouri, 1992)
  • Dusty Angel: Poems (1999; BOA Editions; Winner of the Isabella Gardner Prize)
  • And: Poems (BOA Editions, 2009)
  • No Hurry: Poems 2000-2012 (Etruscan Press, 2012)


  • To Woo and To Wed: Poets on Love & Marriage (editor) The Poseidon Press, New York, 1992


  • Weinstock Among the Dying: A Novel (Zoland Books, Cambridge, Mass., 1993) Winner, Harold U. Ribalow Prize for Fiction, 1994, Hadassah Magazine

Short Stories

  • The Greatest Jewish-American Lover in Hungarian History: Stories (forthcoming, Etruscan Press, Spring, 2014)


  • When History Enters the House: Central European Essays, 1992-1996 (Pleasure Boat Studios, Seattle, 1998)
  • All My Mothers and Fathers: A Memoir (Harper Collins, 2002)


  • “Because They Needed Me:” The Incredible Struggle of Rita Miljo to Save The Baboons of South Africa (Pleasure Boat Studio, NY, 2016)
  • Just Three Minutes, Please: Essays From National Public Radio (forthcoming, West Virginia University Press, 2014)


  • And Yet: Selected Poems of Péter Kántor (Irodalom Publishers, Budapest, 2000)
  • Unknown Places: Poems by Péter Kántor (Pleasure Boat Studios, NY, 2010)

Foreign Editions

  • All My Mothers & Fathers (Harper & Row, Australia, 2002)
  • Engel, Vögel, Lieder: Selected Poems (Verlag André Thiele, Mainz, Germany, 2011)
  • Alle meine Mütter und Väter: Memoir (Verlag André Thiele, Mainz, Germany, 2011)
  • Rita Miljo. Zum Affen werden. Der Kampf um die Paviane Südafrikas. Erzählt von Michael C. Blumenthal (Verlag André Thiele, Mainz, Germany)
  • Gegen Romantik (Gedichte/Poems, 2012 (Verlag André Thiele, Mainz, Germany)
  • Weinstock unter den Sterbenden (Novel, 2012) (Verlag André Thiele, Mainz)

Teaching Experience

  • Visiting Professor of Law, West Virginia University College of Law, 2009-present
  • Instructor, West Virginia University—Brazil Summer Institute, May 2009
  • Mina Hohenberg Darden Distinguished Endowed Chair in Creative Writing, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia 2006- 2010
  • Acuff Chair of Excellence in the Creative Arts, Austin Peay State University, Clarksville, Tennessee 2004-2005
  • Professor of American Civilization, Literature & Translation, Universite Francois Rebelais, Tours, France 2003- 2006
  • Distinguished Visiting Professor of American Literature & Civilization, Universite Jean Monnet, Saint-Etienne, France 2001- 2003
  • Visiting Lecturer in Creative Non-Fiction/The Personal Essay, Institut D’etudes Politiques de Paris 2003-2006
  • Distinguished Visiting Writer in poetry, non-fiction and translation, The Prague Summer Writing Seminars, Czech Republic Summer, 2001
  • Distinguished Writer-in-Residence, Santa Clara University, California, Spring 2001
  • Senior Fulbright Lecturer in American Literature and Culture, The Free University of Berlin 1999-2000
  • Distinguished Writer-in-Residence, Wichita State University, Kansas, Spring 1999
  • Visiting Professor of English & American Literature, The University of Haifa, Israel 1996-1997
  • Distinguished Visiting Writer-in-Residence, Boise State University, Boise, Idaho, Fall l996
  • Senior Fulbright Lecturer in American Literature and Creative Writing, Eotvos Lorand University, Budapest, Hungary 1992- 1995
  • Director, Program in Creative Writing, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass. 1983- 1993
  • Bingham Distinguished Poet-in-Residence, The University of Louisville, Louisville, Ky., 1982

Professional Experience


  • Staff Attorney, The Federal Trade Commission, DC 1974-1975
  • Legal Intern, Office of the Attorney General, Concord, NH 1973

Journalism and Media

  • Senior Editor, The Central European University Press, Budapest 1995-1996
  • Editorial Columnist, The Budapest Sun, Budapest, Hungary, 1992-1996
  • Editorial Commentator, WBUR-FM National Public Radio, Boston, Ma. 1991-1992
  • Producer/Director, West German Television, Washington, DC 1981-1983
  • Chief Speechwriter & Special Advisor, National Endowment for the Humanities, Washington, DC, 1980
  • Writer/Editor, Time-Life Books, Alexandria, VA, 1977-1980
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