By day, I’m the assistant director and editor in chief of World Literature Today magazine at the University of Oklahoma, where I also teach for the Department of English. A Nebraska native, I received a BA in French and English from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and an MA and PhD in comparative literature from Indiana University, Bloomington. I’ve been working in scholarly publishing for more than twenty years—to date, I’ve helped publish more than 400 books and 80 issues of WLT.
My verse chapbook, Cast Off, appeared with Edwin E. Smith Publishing in fall 2015 and has been nominated for the PEN Center USA, Oklahoma Book, Nebraska Book, and Independent Publisher (IPPY) awards. My second book, After Reading Everything, appeared with London’s Eyewear Publishing in spring 2016 and has been nominated for the Griffin, Forward, and T. S. Eliot prizes. Individual poems have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize (four times) and reprinted in the anthologies World English Poetry (2015) and Oklahoma Poems . . . and Their Poets (2014). They have also appeared in various literary journals in the US and abroad—including The Adirondack Review, Prairie Schooner, Poetry International, and Fulcrum—and been translated into French, German, Greek, Spanish, and Turkish.
My new project is the edited volume Nebraska Poetry: A Sesquicentennial Anthology, 1867–2017, published by Stephen F. Austin State University Press in April 2017 as an official project of the Nebraska 150 Celebrations. The first anthology of its scope, Nebraska Poetry encompasses 150 years of the state’s literary history, featuring 80-plus poets and more than 180 poems. This landmark collection includes poems by authors best known for their prose—like Willa Cather, Loren Eiseley, and Tillie Olsen—as well as some remarkable but relatively forgotten writers from the late 19th to the mid 20th centuries. Among the contemporary writers, it includes poets of Nebraska’s renowned “second renaissance” along with a rich array of younger writers who are redefining what poetry from and about the state might represent. A broadly inclusive as well as diverse anthology, Nebraska Poetry celebrates the state’s brilliant contribution not only to Great Plains literature but to the broader traditions of American letters. Twyla Hansen, Nebraska’s current state poet, wrote the foreword to the book. The official statewide launch took place at the Heritage Room of Nebraska Authors in Lincoln’s downtown public library.
My professional memberships include the Academy of American Poets, PEN American Center, and the Nebraska Center for the Book. I’ve also translated a number of French- and Spanish-language writers for WLT. I live in Norman, Oklahoma, with my wife and three daughters.
Photo: A. Simon