Mark Halliday (born 1949) is a noted American poet, professor and critic. He is author of five collections of poetry, most recently Keep This Forever (Tupelo Press, 2008). His honors include inclusion in several annual editions of The Best American Poetry series and of the Pushcart Prize anthology, and he received a 2006 Guggenheim Fellowship, and was a winner of the 2001 Rome Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Halliday earned his B.A. (1971) and M.A. (1976) from Brown University, and his Ph.D. in English literature from Brandeis University in 1983, where he studied with poets Allen Grossman and Frank Bidart. He has taught English literature and writing at Wellesley College, the University of Pennsylvania, Western Michigan University, Indiana University. Since 1996, he has taught at Ohio University.
Halliday's poetry is characterized by close observation of daily events, out-of-the-ordinary metaphors, unsentimental reminiscence, colloquial diction, references to popular culture, and uncommon humor. The poet David Graham has described Halliday as one of the "ablest practitioners" of the "ultra-talk poem," a term said to have been coined by Halliday himself to describe the work of a group of contemporary American poets, including David Kirby, Denise Duhamel, David Clewell, Albert Goldbarth, and Barbara Hamby, who frequently write in a wry, exuberant, garrulous, accessible style. Halliday has acknowledged the influences of New York School poets Frank O’Hara and Kenneth Koch on some of his poems.