Madelon Sprengnether Headshot

Poet. Memoirist.
Literary Critic.

Madelon Sprengnether is a poet, memoirist and literary critic and Regents Professor Emerita of the University of Minnesota. Her recent publications include Great River Road: Memoir and Memory (New Rivers Press, 2015), Near Solstice: Prose Poems (Holy Cow! Press, 2015), and Mourning Freud (Bloomsbury 2018). 


Mourning Freud analyses Freud’s experiences and theories of mourning as the basis for exploring changes in psychoanalytic theories and practices over the course of the 20th century. 

More by Madelon

Great River Road: Memoir and Memory

“In this sequel to Crying at the Movies Sprengnether confronts the moment of recognition when ‘solidly middle aged’ moves forward to the uncharted territory of aging and mortality. Wise, intimate, profound, we travel with her along the Great River Road as she charts her spiritual autobiography. Through the lens of her daughter’s wedding, her visit to Tintern Abbey, and her long journey to the place where her father died, we are priveleged to share in her reflections both spiritual and quotidian.”

– Sybil Houlding, faculty, Western New England Institute for Psychoanalysis

Crying at the Movies: A Film Memoir

“In these insightful essays, even the writing itself is cinematic, as Sprengnether’s memories and quick film summaries meld into one another, making it seem as if the author hasn’t just seen many movies, but has actually lived one.”

– Publishers Weekly

Near Solstice: Prose Poems

Madelon Sprengnether’s short prose poems surprise us with their quick turns and telegraphic insights, their physical bearing―what she calls “bodyworlds”―and spiritual poise. Near Solstice is a book of urgencies.”

– Edward Hirsch

“A fierce question propels the poems in Madelon Sprengnether’s new book: ‘So tell me. What on earth God wants from us?’ Is it love, beauty, pleasure, duty? As Sprengnether explores that question, alert to life routines, rituals, sacrifices, even pilgrimages—driving, swimming, caring for an aging parent, exploring landscapes and ancient mythologies—her poems reveal striking layers of desire, grief, and tenderness.” 

– Patricia Kirkpatrick