Frederick Turner

Founders Professor
Professor Emeritus - Literature and Creative Writing

Professional Preparation

B.A. - English Literature and Literature
Oxford University - 2018
M.S. - English Language and Literature
Oxford University - 1967
Ph.D. - B.Litt (equivalent to Ph.D.)
English Language and Literature, Oxford University - 1967

Research Areas

Scholarly Fields of Interest
  • Poetry, the biological foundations of aesthetics, Shakespeare, ecopoetics, chaos theory and literary criticism, English Renaissance literature, Chaucer, Milton, prosody, performance theory, the philosophy of time, anthropology and literature, literature and science, science fiction, narrative poetry, artificial intelligence, restoration ecology, literary and critical theory, sociobiology and the arts, oral tradition studies, landscape and garden architecture, the structure of knowledge, political philosophy, evolutionary theology, the history and philosophy of science and technology, translation theory, media studies, Renaissance art history


“A Flowering Tree: Selected Poems”, The New Formalist Press, 2008. (PDF) 2008 - Publication
Frederick Hart: The Complete Works: Essays by Donald Kuspit and Frederick Turner. Butler Books, Louisville, 2007 2007 - Publication
The Prayers of Dallas (poetry). Turning Point Press, Cincinnati, Ohio 2006 2006 - Publication
N? Shpell?n e Platonit (In Plato's Cave, full-length collection of poems by Frederick Turner translated into Albanian by Gjek? Marinaj). Marinaj Publishing, Dallas, Frankfurt, Tirana, 2006 2006 - Publication
Natural Religion. Transaction Publishers, New Brunswick, NJ, and London, 2006 2006 - Publication
Paradise: Selected Poems, 1990-2003. David Robert Books, Cincinnati, 2004 2004 - Publication
On the Field of Life, On the Battlefield of Truth. Pivot Press, New York, 2004 2004 - Publication
Shakespeare's Twenty-first Century Economics: The Morality of Love and Money. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999 1999 - Publication
The Iron-blue Vault: Selected Poems of Attila Jozsef (translations with Zsuzsanna Ozsvath). Newcastle upon Tyne, England: Bloodaxe Books, 1999 1999 - Publication
Biopoetics: Evolutionary Explorations in the Arts (essays by various hands, edited with Brett Cooke). Paragon House, 1999 1999 - Publication


Founders Professor
University of Texas at Dallas. [1985–Present]
Visiting Professor
Visiting Professor, University of Exeter, England [1984–1985]
Kenyon Review [1978–1983]
Associate Professor of English
Kenyon College [1972–1985]
Assistant Professor of English
University of California at Santa Barbara [1967–1972]


The Moral Philosophy of Adam Smith
2008–2008 Liberty Fund, Santa Fe, NM (Jan 24-27, 2008)
Address on the work of Dana Gioia
2009–2009 Winner of the 2009 Excellence Award of the Newington-Cropsey Cultural Studies Center, Frederick Turner, The Lotos Club, New York, NY (Feb 20, 2009)
Aesthetics and Civic History
2008–2008 Colloquium presentation, Richardson City Council Committee on Park Planning, Richardson, TX (Mar 6, 2008)
Modernism(with Donald Kuspit, Stefania de Kennessey, James Cooper and Jacob Collins)
2008–2008 Symposium presentation, Newington-Cropsey Cultural Studies Center, Lotos Club, New York, NY (May 30, 2008)
Origins: New Perspectives in the Study of Time
2008–2008 Council meeting presentation, International Society for the Study of Time, Strathmere, NJ (Oct 10, 2008)

Additional Information

Professional Recognition, Honors, etc.
  • Missouri Review essay prize, 1978
  • Folger Library symposium grant, "Shakespeare in Performance", 1979
  • Nine Werner Reimers Stiftung travel grants, 1981-90
  • Six Kenyon College Carnegie-Mellon research grants, 1981-87
  • Ohioana Award for editorial excellence, 1982
  • Djerassi Foundation sabbatical research grant and residency, 1982
  • Levinson Poetry Prize (awarded by the publishers of Poetry), 1983
  • Golden Eagle award for "The Elephant on the Hill" TV documentary, 1988
  • Emmy award for Smithsonian World series of which "The Elephant on the Hill" was a part, 1988
  • Milan Fust Prize (This prize, awarded by the Hungarian Academy of Science, is Hungary's highest literary honor, and was awarded jointly to Zsuzsanna Ozsvath and Frederick
  • Turner for their translation collection, Foamy Sky: The Major Poems of Miklos Radnoti. Princeton: Princeton UP, 1992), 1992
  • Nominated for the University of Texas President's Teaching Award, 1992
  • Quoted as example in American Heritage Dictionary, 3rd edition, for definitions of the words "central", "content", "explicit", "flow", "how," "minutia", "probabilistic", "reference," "subsume". 1992.
  • PEN Dallas Chapter, Golden Pen Award for April Wind 1993
  • M.A. thesis devoted to works by Frederick Turner, entitled The Beautiful as Tragic Affirmation: an Approach to Frederick Turner's Genesis: an Epic Poem, by Curtis Carbonell, Clemson University, successfully defended August 1996.
  • Editorial by Paul Levinson, the editor, in The Journal of Social and Evolutionary Systems, cites Turner's leadoff essay "An Evolutionary/Chaotic Theory of Beauty and Meaning" in JSES 19: 2 "one of the most important pieces printed in the Journal in this decade." Cited in the editor's introduction to Rebel Angels: Twenty-five Poets of the New Formalism, edited by Mark Jarman and David Mason, Story Line Press, as one of the leaders of "the most significant development in modern American poetry." 1996.
  • Foamy Sky: the Major Poems of Miklós Radnóti, translated by Zsuzsanna Ozsvath and Frederick Turner (Princeton University Press, 1992), described by Miklós Hernádi, writing for The New Hungarian Quarterly, Spring 1996, as an "epochal undertaking." 1996.
  • Special publications award, Hungarian Ministry of Culture and Education International Conference on the Unity of the Sciences Honorary Chair of Biology and Aesthetics section, 1997
  • Featured Poet, Light: A Quarterly of Light Verse, Winter 2000
  • Named Distinguished Poet of Dallas by the city of Dallas, 2001.
  • Honorary member, Golden Key Society, 2001
  • Fellow, Texas Institute of Letters, 2003-
  • David Robert Poetry Prize, 2004
  • Nov 16th named by the City of Dallas, Mayor Laura Miller, “The Prayers of Dallas Day”,
  • 2004
  • Nov 17th named by the State of Texas, Gov. Rick Perry, “The Prayers of Dallas and
  • Frederick Turner Day”, 2004
  • Council member, International Society for the Study of Time, 2004-
  • The Gjenima Prize 2004, awarded by the President of the Albanian-American Writers’ Association for the most important contributions to world literature in 2004
  • Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts: Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters, 2006
  • Nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature by over 40 professors of literature and heads of literary societies in Britain, Mexico, Vietnam, Germany, Albania, India, China, the United States, and other nations 2001, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009
Other Activities
  • Director, Poetry Festival, University of California at Santa Barbara
  • Member, special task force to recruit women faculty, Kenyon College
  • Member, special task force to create and institute the Integrated Program in Humane Studies, Kenyon College
  • Member, Kenyon Review revival and feasibility study committee.
  • Panelist, Ohio Arts Council
  • Panelist, Ingersoll Literary Prize Selection Committee
  • Panelist, Publication Subvention Panel, The National Endowment for the Humanities
  • Fellow, The Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture
  • Member, Kerngruppe, Werner Reimers Stiftung research group on the biological foundations of esthetics
  • Consultant to Gettysburg College, Gettysburg Review feasibility study
  • Consultant, the Niedersachsen Foundation: international conference on Geist und Natur (Mind and Nature) in Hannover, Germany
  • Consultant, NASA Ames Space Center, long-range policy planning
  • Trustee, Cleveland Poetry Project (nationally syndicated radio poetry programming)
  • Trustee, Greenhill School
  • Trustee, Isthmus Institute
  • Editorial reader, SUNY Press
  • Editorial reader, University of Pennsylvania Press
  • Editorial reader, University Press of Virginia
  • Editorial reader, Missouri University Press
  • Editorial reader, MIT Press
  • Editorial reader, Behavior and Brain Science
  • Editorial reader, Mosaic
  • Editorial reader, The Study of Time
  • Editorial adviser, Hellas
  • Editorial adviser, Poems and Poetics
  • Editorial adviser, The Journal of Social and Biological Structures
  • Editorial adviser, The American Arts Quarterly
  • Advisory board, St. Louis Museum of Art, Exhibit on Material Culture of the Future
  • Advisory board, Djerassi Foundation
  • Advisory board, Quest Foundation
  • Advisory board, Berlin Peace University, Potsdam, Germany
  • Advisory board, Newington-Cropsey Foundation
  • Founding advisory board, the Earthkeeping Institute
  • Chair, Steering Committee, Center for the Study of Science and the Arts
  • Member, Japan Karate Association: second-degree black belt, Shotokan style
  • Faculty adviser and senior instructor, JKA Dallas Karate Club.
  • Created (with Drs. Koen dePryck and Fernando Mora, and Rector Luis Bojalil) a new Millennium Institute of Integrative Studies in Mexico City. The program will be tied in with existing graduate programs at the Diplomado, M.A. and Ph.D. levels.
  • Chaired and organized Conference Committee on the Biological Foundations of Aesthetics for the International Conference on the Unity of the Sciences, held in Seoul, Korea, Aug. 21st-26th, 1995.
  • Member, American Book Award Committee (projected international literary prize)
  • Advisor, Young Presidents Organization university program planning
  • Advisor, Society for Ecological Restoration and Management
  • Helped plan Undermain Theater's international production of Sarajevo
  • Served as mentor to Plano East High School mentor program, from Sep 1996
  • Led (with Rene Moreno) day-long seminar for all-Dallas high school students on Shakespearean performance, sponsored by the English-speaking Union, Nov 16th, 1996
  • Contributing Editor, Reason magazine
  • Conference organizer: International Conference on the Unity of the Sciences 1997
  • Honorary Chair of Biology and Aesthetics section
  • Sanus Salute: officiated at SANUS SALUTE senior citizens annual award ceremony, literature prize, Dallas, Feb 24th 1996
  • Literary Consultant to "Wishbone," children's Public Television literary series, from May 1996
  • Literary adviser and dramaturg for "Wishbone," the PBS children's TV literary drama series, 1997
  • Compered TV Critics Award PBS Press Tour, "Wishbone," Pasadena, California, Jul 26th, 1997
  • Member, Dallas Poetry Board
  • Vice-Chair, Board of Directors, Foundation for Global Studies
  • Advisory Board, International School of Theory in the Humanities
  • Contributing Writer, American Enterprise
  • Literary Advisor, Tillerman's Codex DVD Experimental Storytelling Project, UTD, 1999
  • Curator, Derriere Guard Arts Festival
  • Advisory Board, Newington-Cropsey Foundation
  • Consultant, "Mystical Cafe" Rick Duffield Film Arts TV miniseries project
  • Passed advanced Karate judge examination, judged National Karate Championships 2001
  • International Society for the Study of Time, Council Member
  • Editorial Board, American Arts Quarterly
  • Contributing Editor, American Arts Quarterly

News Articles

Professor and Student Cross the Balkans for Poetry
In 1990, Gjekë Marinaj was fleeing through the mountains from his home country of Albania into the former Yugoslavia. He was being pursued by Albanian secret police with tracker dogs. Marinaj’s crime: writing a poem.With Founders Professor of Arts and Humanities Dr. Frederick Turner, Marinaj has recently published Sung Across the Shoulder: Heroic Poetry of Illyria, a collection of Albanian oral folk-poetry. Turning the poetry from spoken performance into print was no easy task. Since none of the poems had ever been written down, Marinaj traveled to inns and coffee-houses deep in the Albanian mountains to record the poets reciting their verse. Marinaj also photographed the speakers and the venues of their performances. Back at UT Dallas, Turner and Marinaj began their collaborative work by listening to the recordings together and considering the photographs to determine whether or not a poem was fit for the book. The poem, if chosen, would then be translated, retaining its original tone, mood, style, diction, metrical form and rhyme.
Literature Profs Offer Book Lists to Beat the Heat
Triple-digit temperatures have discouraged poolside reading and sent many North Texans indoors.UT Dallas literature experts have summertime book recommendations that promise distraction from the sweltering heat. “What's needed for good summer reading is complicated plots, suspense and humor,” said Founders Professor of Arts and Humanities Dr. Frederick Turner. “The ideal summer reading is Patrick O’Brian’s Napoleonic naval novel series about Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin,” Turner says. “The passages about the freezing gales of the South Forties are particularly welcome in this weather.” O’Brian’s novels may be familiar to those who saw the 2003 film adaptation Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World directed by Peter Weir and starring Russell Crowe.
TD Professor Dr. Frederick Turner to Bring The Prayers of Dallas to Campus on Nov. 2
RICHARDSON, Texas (Oct. 14, 2005) — Renowned University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) Founders Professor of Arts and Humanities Dr. Frederick Turner will bring his popular play The Prayers of Dallas to the Jonsson Performance Hall on campus on Nov. 2 at 7:30 p.m. Performed as a solo piece by Turner, the play will be free and open to the public. 

Turner describes The Prayers of Dallas as “a portrait of the city, composed as a mosaic of 50 different voices, each a resident of Dallas, each in his or her most private moment, speaking to whatever is their own ultimate Listener. It is a celebration both of the diversity of the city and of a fundamental moral unity which is often unremarked.”