blog.bestamericanpoetry.com > About Us

David Lehman was born in New York City. He initiated The Best American Poetry series in 1988 and remains series editor of the annual anthology. He is the author of seven books of poems, most recently When a Woman Loves a Man (Scribner, 2005). Among his nonfiction books are The Last Avant-Garde: The Making of the New York School of Poets (Anchor, 1999) and The Perfect Murder ( Michigan, 2000). He edited Great American Prose Poems: From Poe to the Present , (Scribner, 2003) and The Best American Erotic Poems (Scribner, 2008). He edited The Oxford Book of American Poetry, a one-volume comprehensive anthology of poems from Anne Bradstreet to the present. He teaches writing and literature in the graduate writing program of the New School in New York City. He lives in New York City and spends summers in Ithaca, New York.


Stacey Harwood, Managing Editor

Stacey Harwood, Managing Editor

Stacey Harwood is a policy analyst for the New York State Public Service Commission, the agency that regulates gas, electric, water, and telephone service in New York State. She writes Critic’s Pick and Eat This Now columns for Time Out New York. Her poems and essays have been published or are forthcoming in The LA Times, Michigan Quarterly Review, Humor, Lit, Saveur, and elsewhere.


Jim Cummins - Mid-West Correspondent

Jim Cummins - Mid-West Correspondent

Jim Cummins is the author of The Whole Truth, (North Point Press, 1986), Portrait In A Spoon, (University of South Carolina Press,1997), Then & Now, (Ohio University Press, 2004). He is co-author, with David Lehman, of Jim & Dave Defeat the Masked Man (Soft Skull Press, 2005). His poems have been selected for The Best American Poetry anthologies of 1994, 1995, 1998 and 2005, The Oxford Book of American Poetry (Oxford University Press, 2006), and 180 More, edited by Billy Collins. Cummins has been curator of the Elliston Poetry Collection at the University of Cincinnati since 1975, where he is also Professor of English. Read his BAP blog posts here.


Moira Egan - European Correspondent

Moira Egan - European Correspondent

Moira Egan is the author of Cleave (WWPH, 2004) and of La Seta della Cravatta/The Silk of the Tie, a bi-lingual collection of poems with Italian versions by Damiano Abeni. Further to the naughty sonnets that appear in Best American Poetry 2008, her chapbook, Bar Napkin Sonnets won The Ledge 2008 Chapbook Competition and will be published later this year. Her second full-length collection, SPIN, will be published in spring 2010 by Entasis Press. With her husband, Damiano Abeni, she translates poems back and forth between English and Italian; most recently, they published Un mondo che non può essere migliore: Poesie scelte 1956-2007, a substantial selection of the poems of John Ashbery (Sossella Editore, 2008). She lives in Rome. Read more about Moira Egan here. Read her BAP blog posts here.


Lawrence J. Epstein - The Dylan Watch

Lawrence J. Epstein - The Dylan Watch

Lawrence J. Epstein is the author of several books, including The Haunted Smile:The Story of Jewish Comedians in America (Public Affairs, 2002), and At the Edge of a Dream: The Story of Jewish Immigrants on New York's Lower East Side, 1880-1920 (Jossey-Bass, 2007). Read his BAP blog posts here.


Jill Alexander Essbaum - Coeur Despondent

Jill Alexander Essbaum - Coeur Despondent

Jill Alexander Essbaurm is the author of the 1999 Bakeless Prize winner, Heaven (UPNE 2000), and Harlot (No Tell Books, 2007). Her poems have appeared in journals religious and secular, print and online, well-known and famously obscure, including Poetry, The Christian Century, No Tell Motel, Rhino, Image, MiPoesias, Black Warrior Review, Christianity and Literature, and many others. Visit Jill's website here. Read her BAP blog posts here


Jenny Factor - West Coast Correspondent

Jenny Factor - West Coast Correspondent

Jenny Factor’s poem collection Unraveling at the Name (Copper Canyon Press) won a Hayden Carruth Award and was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award. Factor’s poems and reviews have appeared in the Paris Review and more than a dozen anthologies, including The Best American Erotic Poems (Scribner, 2008). Her work has been supported by an Astraea Grant in poetry. Jenny received her M.F.A. in Literature from Bennington College, and her BA from Harvard College. She currently teaches and serves as the Core Faculty in poetry at Antioch University Los Angeles’ low-residency MFA Program. Learn more about Jenny Factor here. Read her BAP blog posts here.(Painting by Catherine Bryant)


Joy Katz, Significant Mother

Joy Katz, Significant Mother

Joy Katz is editor-at-large for Pleiades. Her poetry collections are The Garden Room (Tupelo Press, 2006) and Fabulae (Southern Illinois University Press, 2002), and she co-edited the recent anthology Dark Horses: Poets on Lost Poems (University of Illinois Press, 2006). Her poems and essays appear in Fence, Colorado Review, Seneca Review, Court Green and the New York Times Book Review, among other places. She teaches poetry writing at The New School and NYU and lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband and young son. Read her BAP blog posts here.


Jennifer Michael Hecht - The Lion and the Honeycomb

Jennifer Michael Hecht - The Lion and the Honeycomb

Jennifer Michael Hecht is the author of two books of poetry Funny (University of Wisconsin, 2005)and The Next Ancient World (Tupeloe Press, 2001). Her non-fiction books are Doubt: A History (HarperOne, 2004 and The Happiness Myth (HarperOne, 2007).She earned her Ph.D. in the History of Science from Columbia University. She teaches in the Graduate Creative Writing Program at The New School and is a fellow of The New York Institute for the Humanities. Read more about Jennifer Michael Hecht here. Read her BAP blog posts here.


Bill Hayward, Photographer, Filmmaker

Bill Hayward, Photographer, Filmmaker

Bill is a photographer/filmmaker whose most recent book
of portraits of the collaborative self is entitled bad behavior, (Rizzoli). Bill is currentlly at work on a new portrait collection entitled I Hear America Singing, America in Portraits of the Collaborative Self. Hayward is also in production
on Asphalt, Muscle and Bone, a film about a man at risk, the persistence of imagination and the impossibility of love. Images from Hayward's work can be viewed at billhayward.com and at reddressfilms.com. See his BAP blog posts here.


Laura Orem - Red Lion, PA

Laura Orem - Red Lion, PA

Laura Orem is a writer, artist, and teacher. She holds an MFA from Bennington College and is a Writing Fellow at Goucher College. Her poetry and essays have appeared in many journals, both in print and online, including Nimrod, heART (Human Equity Through Art), Wordwrights, The Montserrat Review, Poets Against the War, and The Writer's Chronicle. Orem lives in Red Lion, PA with six cats, four dogs, two sheep, two sons, one horse, and one husband. Read her BAP blog posts here.


Elizabeth Samet - Film

Elizabeth Samet - Film

Elizabeth D. Samet is the author of SOLDIER'S HEART: Reading Literature Through Peace & War at West Point (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2007) and Willing Obedience: Citizens, Soldiers, and the Progress of Consent in America, 1776–1898 (Stanford University Press, 2003). She received her B.A. from Harvard and her Ph.D. in English literature from Yale. She is a Professor of Literature at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. The opinions expressed on this blog are Samet's own and not necessarily those of the U.S. Military Academy, the Department of the Army, or the Department of Defense. Read her BAP blog posts here.


Mitch Sisskind - Correspondent at Large

Mitch Sisskind - Correspondent at Large

Mitch Sisskind (shown here as The Kalashnikover Rebbe) was born in Chicago, and has lived in Los Angeles since 1986. He is the autor of two books of short stories: Visitations (1984) and Dog Man Stories (1993). Read his BAP blog posts here.


Ken Tucker – Culture Correspondent.

Ken Tucker – Culture Correspondent.

Ken Tucker is Entertainment Weekly’s Editor-At-Large. He does weekly music reviews for NPR's "Fresh Air with Terry Gross," His most recent book is Scarface Nation: The Ultimate Gangster Movie and How It Changed America (St. Martins, 2008). Keep up with Tucker at Ken Tucker’s Pop Culture here. Read his BAP blog posts here


David Yezzi, Far-Flung Correspondent

David Yezzi, Far-Flung Correspondent

David Yezzi’s latest book of poetry is Azores. He is the editor of The Swallow Anthology of New American Poets, forthcoming in the summer of 2009 and executive editor of The New Criterion.