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Macha Louis Rosenthal Edit Profile

editor , writer , poet

Macha Louis Rosenthal was an American poet and editor as well as scholar and writer.


Mr. Rosenthal was born on March 14, 1917, in Washington, District of Columbia, United States. He was a son of Jacob and Ethel (Brown) Rosenthal.


He earned his Bachelor of Arts (1937) and Master of Arts (1938) degrees at the University of Chicago. From New York University Macha Rosenthal earned his Doctor of Philosophy in 1949.


From 1939 to 1945, Mr. Rosenthal taught as an instructor in English at Michigan State University. In 1946, he was hired as an instructor at New York University, where he taught for 26 years. In 1961 he served in the U.S. Cultural Exchange Program and was visiting specialist to Germany, in 1965, to Pakistan, in 1966, to Romania, Poland, and Bulgaria, and in 1980, to Italy and France. In 1974, Mr. Rosenthal was a visiting poet in Israel. From 1977 to 1979 he served as director of the Poetics Institute at New York University, where he was a professor of English until 1996.

Macha Rosenthal contributed poems, articles, and reviews to such leading journals as The New Yorker, the New Statesman, Poetry, The Spectator (London), ELH, and The Quarterly Review. He also served from 1956 to 1961 as poetry editor of The Nation in 1970-1978 as poetry editor of The Humanist, and from 1973 till 1990 as poetry editor of Present Tense. He published numerous books of criticism and collections of verse and edited various anthologies of poetry.


  • Macha Rosenthal was best-known as a critic and anthologizer of 20th-century poetry. He helped popularize the study of the phenomenon of poetry in the modern world, concentrating especially on the works of major British and American poets such as William Butler Yeats, Ezra Pound, T. S. Eliot, and William Carlos Williams.



  • American Association of University Professors , United States

  • Modern Language Association , United States

  • Poets, Playwrights, Editors, Essayists and Novelists association , United States

  • vice president, Board of Governors 1989-1992

    Poetry Society American , United States

  • American Literature Association , United States

  • Yeats Society , United States

  • Phi Beta Kappa , United States


On January 7, 1939, he married Victoria Himmelstein, with whom he had three children: David, Alan, and Laura.

Jacob Rosenthal - American

Ethel (Brown) Rosenthal - American

David Rosenthal - American

Alan Rosenthal - American

Laura Rosenthal - American

Victoria Himmelstein - American