Professor earns national grant to complete book on popular American poetry

The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded a competitive summer stipend to Willamette University English Assistant Professor Mike Chasar.

The grant will support his work this summer to complete a book that will be the first extended critical study of popular American poetry in the first half of the 20th century.

Combining cultural and book studies with recent poetry scholarship, Chasar’s work evaluates archives of previously unstudied material, including scrapbooks of poetry assembled by readers, old-time radio poetry programs and fan letters sent to those shows, and advertising poems including the popular rhyming Burma-Shave billboards that once lined U.S. highways.

Chasar’s book is under contract at Columbia University Press with anticipated completion in August.