BOOKS BY TWO professors at Johns Hopkins University are among 25 finalists for National Book Critics Circle awards this year. Allen Grossman's seventh book of poetry, "The Ether Dome and Other Poems," was nominated in the poetry category, and Robert Kanigel's second book, "The Man Who Knew Infinity: A Life of the Genius Ramanujan," was nominated in the biography/autobiography category.
Grossman began teaching poetry and poetics at Hopkins last fall after 34 years of teaching at Brandeis University. The 1988 winner of a five-year MacArthur Foundation grant, Grossman will teach in Baltimore one semester a year through 1994 while he devotes the other semester to his poetry. (He lives in Lexington, Mass.) Recently named Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Hopkins -- the position held previously by James Joyce scholar Hugh Kenner -- Grossman has also won grants from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Baltimorean Kanigel, an award-winning science writer, teaches literary journalism in the Johns Hopkins University School of Continuing Studies, works as a free-lance writer and is a contributing editor of the Johns Hopkins Magazine. "The Man Who Knew Infinity" looks at the life of Ramanujan, the self-taught Indian mathematical genius who went to Cambridge University to engage in math research.
Awards in five categories -- which also include fiction, general non-fiction and criticism -- will be given Feb. 13 in New York.