Bio

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2014 JFB CV

Born in Flint, Michigan, the son of a psychiatric social worker and an ex-nun, I was raised in Sylvan Lake, a northern suburb of Detroit, until attending the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and receiving a B.A. in English. I moved to Pasadena in 1992 and worked as a reader assistant for nine professors at East Los Angeles College and Los Angeles Valley College..

After eight years in the San Francisco Bay Area (during which time I 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ill-advised stint in Reno, Nevada, I once again relocated to Southern California, with my lovely and talented wife, an out-of-date comics collection, and jobs teaching English at a couple of Orange County two-year colleges.

Since I restarted writing in the spring of 2009, after a creative dry spell of almost two decades, my poems have been accepted for publication in over 180 periodicals and anthologies. My poems “Poem for Christy’s Daughter,” “A Promise,” “The Appointment,” and “Ode to Barabbas” have been nominated for Pushcart Prizes in 2009 and 2013. In addition to writing individual works, I’m engaged in an ongoing game of poetic volleyball with established Los Angeles writer Martin Ott (Captive, Interrogator’s Notebook). Our poem “Madame Leah Bears the Weight of the Zoönoösphere” has been nominated for a 2014 Pushcart Prize.

My inaugural chapbook, Breach Birth, was published by Propaganda Press in March 2011. Propaganda Press also published my second chapbook, Leading an Aquamarine Shoat by Its Tail. My full-length solo collection, Sky Sandwiches, appeared on Anaphora Literary Press in August 2012. My first volume of collaborations with Martin Ott, Poets’ Guide to America, came out on Brooklyn Arts Press in late October 2012. Both 2012 collections were also nominated for Pushcart Prizes. Martin’s and my second collection of collaborative poetry, Yankee Broadcast Network, is expected on Brooklyn Arts Press in late 2014.

In Fall 2012, I moved back to Ann Arbor, Michigan, to attend the University of Michigan’s Helen Zell Writers’ Program as an MFA student in poetry. I recently graduated and will spend May 2014 through April 2015 enjoying a postgraduate fellowship.

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