Peter Michelson’s personae are poet, essayist, teacher and critic. In those capacities his work has appeared in a variety of political and literary journals and anthologies, including An Americas Anthology, The Art of Friction, Chicago Review, Exquisite Corpse, The Nation, The New Republic, Notre Dame Review, TriQuarterly and others. He has published six books, three volumes of poetry—The Eater (1972), Pacific Plainsong I-XIII (1978, 1987), When the Revolution Really (1984); two of critical prose, The Aesthetics of Pornography (1971), Speaking the Unspeakable (1993); and a critical edition, The Extant Poetry and Prose of Max Michelson (2000). He has edited The Chicago Review, and he co-edited Rolling Stock with Ed and Jenny Dorn, and has been a Contributing Editor to TriQuarterly and Another Chicago Magazine.
In the 1980s and 1990s it was his good fortune to travel, lecture and write on American literature in China, India and Sri Lanka. Poetry from that time is included here in both New and Selected Poetry. In the early ’80s, following the fallout from China’s “Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution,” he taught in Tianjian, traveled throughout China, and sent translations of and reports on contemporary Chinese literature to Rolling Stock and other American journals. During the civil war in Sri Lanka between the Tamil Tigers and the Sinhalese government he volunteered with Peace Brigades International, an NGO human rights organization, and was a consultant to Eastern University’s transition from Tamil to English as the language of instruction. Eastern University is located in Batticaloa, which could in those years at times become a free-fire zone. India was rather more pacific, but its vastness and its many languages and cultural counterpoints offered their own complications as he traveled the subcontinent interviewing writers and introducing the work of Indian poets to American literary magazines. During 2001–02 he was a Fulbright Lecturer on American literature at the Abo Akademi University and the Turku Yliopisto [University] in Turku, and Helsinki University in Finland.
He is Professor Emeritus of English and Creative Writing at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He studied in Seattle, Walla Walla, Laramie and Chicago and lived most of his life, apart from travels noted above, in the American west. He has taught at Jamestown College [North Dakota], the University of Wyoming, Roosevelt University, Northwestern University and the University of Notre Dame. He lives in Boulder, Colorado.
is now available from MadHat Press.