Humanities and Arts

Contact Information

Salisbury Laboratories, 035
Phone: +1-508-831-5513
Fax: +1-508-831-5932

James Dempsey

James Dempsey came to academia following a 20-year career in print journalism, during which time he worked as metro columnist for the Telegram & Gazette of Worcester, MA. He published thousands of columns on a wide variety of topics, winning awards from the Associated Press and United Press International. He was also the writing coach at the newspaper, leading seminars for editors and reporters in which were discussed topics in newspapering ranging from narrative journalism to ethics. He is interested in writing in all its forms, both journalistic and creative.

Besides journalism, Dempsey has published fiction, verse, and academic papers. Dempsey regards the teaching of writing--academic, journalistic, and creative--as a hugely important element in the education of a student at WPI. He enjoys identifying and nurturing students with writing talent and potential, of which WPI happily has more than its fair share. He is particularly fond of the medieval English poet Geoffrey Chaucer, whose poems he has translated into Modern English, and he is currently writing the biography of Scofield Thayer, who edited a famous literary and critical magazine in the 1920s called The Dial.

Research Interests

  • Medieval literature
  • Journalism
  • Modernism
  • The Little Magazine


  • BA, University of Liverpool, UK, 1976
  • MA, Clark University, Worcester, MA, 1978

Featured Publications

  • The Court Poetry of Geoffrey Chaucer: A Facing-Page Translation in Modern English, Edwin Mellen Press.
  • Zakary's Zombies: A Fairy Tale, Aracne Editrice.
  • “Lost E.E. Cummings Poem Discovered”, The Awl, June, 2011.
  • "The Radical and the Aesthete: Randolph Bourne, Scofield Thayer, and The Dial." Given at the Programme du Colloque International "Revues Modernists et politique dans les annees 1900 a 1939," June 6, 2008 Le Mans, France.
  • "Mortality's Intimacy: Robert Cormier's Frenchtown Summer," The Worcester Review, Vol. XXIX, Numbers 1 & 2, 2008.

View a Complete List (.pdf, 242kb)

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