I was born in 1941 and grew up in Fish Creek, Wisconsin, a hamlet of some two hundred people situated beneath a limestone bluff on a harbor of Lake Michigan. After receiving a BA at Stanford I enrolled as a graduate student at the University of Toronto and, to support myself, joined the editorial staff of the University of Toronto Press. A few years later, with an MA in hand, I went on to Brandeis University where I studied with J.V. Cunningham and received a PhD in English literature in 1972.
Teaching jobs being sparse, I worked for a time as an editor at the Godine Press, then began doing government-funded research in the social sciences. After a few years I founded a non-profit research institute studying issues in criminal justice and mental health. I wrote a book on political terrorism. Later, after an affiliation with the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, I started a company that provided software to local governments. This company, MicroSolve, occupied me for some twenty years until I was able to sell it and become, for the first time in my life, a fulltime writer.
In spite of the distractions just mentioned, I have written and published poems all my adult life. My books include Digressions (Aliquando Press, Toronto), Wily Apparitions (Cummington Press, Omaha), Bell Buoys (Aliquando), and two books of translations: Sketch of a Serpent and A Stroke upon the Sea. I was one of the founding editors of Canto: Review of the Arts, a sprightly literary magazine that flourished in the late 1970s. My poems and translations have appeared in many magazines – including the Southern Review, Hudson Review, Christian Science Monitor, Literary Imagination, and The Formalist – and in online journals such as Expansive Poetry and Music and Not Just Air. You can find my work in the on-line anthologies The Hypertexts and Poem Tree. Seven of my poems were set to music by Paul Alan Levi in a song cycle for tenor and piano called Zeno's Arrow, which has been performed in Massachusetts and New York.
Recently I joined David Rothman in starting an annual Symposium in Poetry Criticism. Now in its fourth year, the symposium brings distinguished poet-critics each summer to Western State Colorado University to present papers and exchange views on significant issues in the understanding and criticism of poetry in our time.
I have written many reviews and critical articles on poetry for Contemporary Poetry Review, Southern Revuew, and other publications. Look for my book Sparring with the Sun: Poets and the Ways We Think about Poetry in the Late Days of Modernism, published by Antilever Press in the spring of 2013.
J A N S C H R E I B E R