Newman University Professor Bryan Dietrich co-edits comic book superhero poetry anthology Drawn to Marvel

Feb 27, 2014

Newman University Professor of English Bryan Dietrich, Ph.D. is co-editor of the poetry anthology Drawn To Marvel: Poetry From the Comic Books, which will be released March 1 at the Associated Writing Programs (AWP) annual conference in Seattle, Wash. The book – the world’s first anthology of superhero poetry – is published by Minor Arcana Press.

Drawn to MarvelDietrich and the book’s co-editor Marta Ferguson, are attending the AWP conference and the official book release at 7 p.m., March 1 at the Raygun Lounge in Seattle. Dietrich and several poets featured in the anthology will be on hand at the conference to sign books and present readings. Dietrich, who contributed three poems to the anthology, will present a reading of his works at 8 p.m., Thursday Feb. 27 at the Jack Straw Cultural Center in Seattle.

Drawn to Marvel covers five decades of poetry about comic books, superheroes and super villains. The book explores a variety of themes, including aging, the woes of superhero sidekicks, love, sex and other issues. Poems pay homage to characters such as The Avengers, The Justice League, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Swamp Thing and many others.

“The book contains all kinds of poems, from a heartbreaking look at a failing, aging superhero to the joy and wonder we as readers find in superheroes,” Dietrich said. “In some, the poets are talking about their experience reading superhero comics while growing up. We were trying to put together a comprehensive look at writers working in this oeuvre.”

Dietrich and Ferguson have worked over the past 11 years to research, gather and compile poems, work with poets to secure rights and other activity related to creating the anthology. The book is more than 300 pages long and features 138 poets, each of whom is represented by one to three poems.

Dietrich and Ferguson met when Dietrich was working on his first book of poems, Krypton Nights, and received positive feedback from Ferguson, who at the time was editor at The Prairie Schooner. The two have maintained a friendship and professional relationship since then, and decided to collaborate on the anthology.

Dietrich is the author of a book-length study on comics, Wonder Woman Unbound, and six books of poems: Krypton Nights, Universal Monsters, Prime Directive, Love Craft, The Assumption, and The Monstrance. He has won several prizes and awards, is a five-time finalist for the Yale Younger Poets Series, and has been nominated multiple times for both the Pushcart and the Pulitzer. For more information on Dietrich and his work, visit

Ferguson is sole proprietor of Wordhound Writing & Editing Services, LLC, Columbia, Mo. She was previously an editor at The Prairie Schooner and the poetry editor of The Missouri Review. She holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Missouri-Columbia. For more information on Ferguson, visit