was born in Harrisonburg, Virginia, in 1946. He served as a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War, an experience recounted in his novel Saigon, Illinois,
published by Vintage Contemporaries. For many years, he taught at Columbia College Chicago, where he founded Columbia Poetry Review. He also helped to establish The Poetry Center at School of the Art Institute, an important reading series. With Maxine Chernoff, he edited and translated the Selected Poems of Friedrich Hölderlin,
for which they received the PEN-USA Translation Award. They also edited the well-known literary magazine New American Writing.
With the Mexican poet María Baranda, he edited and translated The Complete Poems of San Juan de la Cruz.
Editor of Postmodern American Poetry: A Norton Anthology
(1994 / 2013), he is a Professor of Creative Writing at San Francisco State University. Recipient of numerous literary awards including an NEA Fellowship, the Frederick Bock Award of Poetry, and the Jerome J. Shestack Prize of American Poetry Review, he lives in Mill Valley, California.
The Book of Unnamed Things
is now available from MadHat Press.