Norman Finkelstein is a poet, critic, and Emeritus Professor of English at Xavier University. Born in New York City in 1954, he received his B.A. from Binghamton University in 1975 and his Ph.D. from Emory University in 1980. That year, he joined the faculty of Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio, and taught at Xavier for forty years, retiring in 2020. Finkelstein is the author of thirteen books of poetry and six books of literary criticism, and has written extensively about modern poetry and Jewish literature. In 2021, MadHat Press published Where the Wanting Leads Us: Reading the Poetry of Norman Finkelstein, edited by J. Peter Moore. As the essays in that volume make clear, Finkelstein’s poetry is steeped in the Jewish tradition of textual commentary, and is often addressed to the tension between a secular and a religiously observant worldview. This tension manifests itself especially in his longstanding interest in Kabbalah and other modes of Gnostic belief. His concern with the dialectic of secular and religious thought is also seen throughout his critical work, whether he is discussing Jewish poetry (as in his recent study Like a Dark Rabbi) or poetry engaged with other spiritual traditions (as in On Mount Vision). As the literary executor of the poet Harvey Shapiro, he edited Shapiro’s posthumous last book, A Momentary Glory (Wesleyan University Press, 2014). Since his retirement, Finkelstein has written and edited the poetry review blog Restless Messengers ( He lives in Cincinnati, Ohio.