Born in Flint, Michigan, the son of a psychiatric social worker and an ex-nun, John F. Buckley was raised in Sylvan Lake, a suburb of Detroit, until attending the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and receiving a B.A. in English. He moved to Pasadena in 1992 and evolved into a man of multiple regional identities.
After eight years in the San Francisco Bay Area (during which time he earned an M.A. in literature from San Francisco State University), a once-stable first marriage, a divorce that began genially enough, and an ill-advised stint in Reno, Nevada, he once again relocated to Southern California, with his lovely and talented wife, an out-of-date comics collection, and jobs teaching English at a couple of Orange County colleges.
Since Buckley restarted writing in the spring of 2009, after a creative dry spell of almost two decades, his poems have been accepted for publication in over 150 periodicals and anthologies. In addition to writing individual works, he is engaged in an ongoing game of poetic volleyball with established Los Angeles writer Martin Ott (Interrogator’s Notebook, Captive).
Buckley’s inaugural chapbook, Breach Birth, was published by Propaganda Press in March 2011. Propaganda Press also published his second chapbook, Leading an Aquamarine Shoat by Its Tail. His full-length solo collection, Sky Sandwiches, appeared on Anaphora Literary Press in August 2012. His first volume of collaborations with Martin Ott, Poets’ Guide to America, came out on Brooklyn Arts Press in November 2012.
In Fall 2012, Buckley moved back to Ann Arbor, Michigan, to attend the University of Michigan as an MFA student in poetry. So far, he is staying afloat.