Over the course of his career, he has written reviews and feature articles on a diverse array of poets and novelists, including Charles Bukowski, Emily Dickinson, Kay Ryan, T.S. Eliot, Thomas Hardy, H.G. Wells, Richard Wilbur, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Dylan Thomas, John Keats, Saul Bellow, John Updike, Hart Crane, and David Foster Wallace. He has also written articles on assorted cultural issues, covering topics like rap music, America and the Roman Empire, the relationship between conservative politics in America and the writings of Ayn Rand, and the importance of literary criticism.
Kirsch has published two books of poems, The Thousand Wells and Invasions, as well as non-fiction books on Benjamin Disraeli and Lionel Trilling. The Thousand Wells won The New Criterion Poetry Prize in 2002. His poems have also appeared in many magazines including The Paris Review, Partisan Review, The Formalist, Harvard Review, and The New Criterion.