This is a brief selected bibliography of booklength studies. Though I have asterisked those texts that I see as particularly useful to a study of American (and therefore modern) epic, this is not meant to be taken as the last word in your own research.
Jackson-Laufer, Guida M., ed. Encyclopedia of Literary Epics. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 1996.
Jackson-Laufer, Guida M., ed.. Encyclopedia
of Traditional Epics. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 1994.
*Bernstein, Michael. The Tale of the Tribe: Ezra Pound and the Modern Verse Epic. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1980.
*Downes, Jeremy M. Recursive Desire: Rereading Epic Tradition. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1997.
Feeney, D. C. The Gods in Epic: Poets and Critics of the Classical Tradition. New York: Oxford UP, 1991.
MacDonald, Ronald R. The Burial-Places of Memory: Epic Underworlds in Vergil, Dante, and Milton. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1987.
*McWilliams, John P., Jr. The American Epic: Transforming a Genre, 1770-1860. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1989.
*Merchant, Paul. The Epic. The Critical Idiom 17. London: Methuen, 1971.
*Miller, James E. The American Quest for a Supreme Fiction: Whitmans Legacy in the Personal Epic. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1979.
*Mori, Masaki. Epic Grandeur: Toward a Comparative Poetics of the Epic. Albany: SUNY Press, 1997.
Murrin, Michael. The Allegorical Epic: Essays in Its Rise and Decline. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980.
Nimis, Stephen A. Narrative Semiotics in the Epic Tradition: The Simile. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1987.
Oberhelman, Steven M., Van Kelly, and Richard J. Golsan, eds. Epic and Epoch: Essays on the Interpretation and History of a Genre. Lubbock: Texas Tech University Press, 1994.
*Pearce, Roy Harvey. The Continuity of American Poetry. Princeton: Princeton UP, 1977.
Quint, David. Epic and Empire: Politics and Generic Form from Vergil to Milton. Princeton: Princeton UP, 1993.
Suzuki, Mihoko. Metamorphoses of Helen: Authority, Difference, and the Epic. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1989.
Van Nortwick, Charles. Somewhere I Have Never Travelled: The Second Self and the Heros Journey in Ancient Epic. New York: Oxford, 1992.
*Walker, Jeffrey. Bardic Ethos and the American Epic Poem: Whitman, Pound, Crane, Williams, Olson. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1989.
*Wilkie, Brian. Romantic Poets and Epic Tradition. Madison: The University of Wisconsin Press, 1965.
Yu, Anthony C., ed. Parnassus Revisited: Modern Critical Essays on the Epic Tradition. Chicago: American Library Association, 1973.