David Need, Lecturing Fellow of Religion

David Need

I have taught at Duke since 1999, primarily in Religious Studies. I developed the ICS gateway class and taught it from 2005-2012. My academic expertise is in Asian Religions and in Literature and Religion, with a focus on poetics, ritual and meditation systems.

In addition to scholarly articles, I have published three books — two are translations and essays on Rainer Maria Rilke, the third is a selection of my own poetry, including a long poem set alongside the Gospel of Mark.

Office Location:  317 Gray, Durham, NC 27708
Office Phone:  (919) 668-6575
Email Address: send me a message

Teaching (Fall 2019):


Ph.D.University of Virginia2004


Beats (Persons) in literature • Indo-tibetan Buddhism • Rainer Maria Rilke • Religion and poetry • Religions of India • Sanskrit literature, Buddhist Hybrid

Postdocs Mentored

Recent Publications

  1. Need, D, Songs In-Between the Day / Offshore ST. Mark — Two Suites (2015), pp. 69 pages, Three Count Pour Press, ISBN 9780988937758  [abs]
  2. Rilke, RM, Roses: The Late French Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke, edited by Need, D (July, 2014), pp. 213 pages, Horse and Buggy Press, ISBN 0989640108 (translated by Need, D.)  [abs]
  3. Need, D, Adjacency and the Politics of Everyday Practice: Fanny Howe’s Lives of a Spirit, Spoke, vol. 1 no. Fall (2013)
  4. Need, D, Folding Time: On the ‘Gnostic’ Effects of Irruption and Loss in the Work of H.D., Philip K. Dick, Allen Ginsberg, and Alice Notley, Talisman, vol. 41 no. Fall (2013)
  5. Need, D, Spontaneity, immediacy, and difference: Philosophy, being in time, and creativity in the aesthetics of jack kerouac, charles olson, and john cage, in The Philosophy of the Beats, edited by Sharin N. Elkholy (2012), pp. 195-210, University Press of Kentucy, Lexington, KY  [abs]