Jane Mead is an award-winning poet, whose writing has appeared in multiple anthologies and magazines. She has published five collections of poetry: World of Made and Unmade (2016), Money Money Money Water Water Water (2014), The Usable Field (2008), The House of Poured-Out Waters (2001), and The Lord and the General Din of the World (1996). Among her numerous accolades are fellowships and awards from the Guggenheim, Whiting, and Lannan Foundations.
Mead graduated from Vassar College, and then from Syracuse and the University of Iowa with an MA and MFA in Writing/Poetry. She has rich experience as an educator, having held positions at Wake Forest University as Poet-in-Residence, New England College, University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and Drew University. She says of her teaching: “I’ve been fortunate to have a good handful of teachers who were important to me. As you know, it makes all the difference, and in my own teaching…I always hope to pass on something akin to what I received from my own teachers. At best, I think of teaching the writing of poetry as a huge privilege – it’s an invitation to mentor in the deepest way.”
From her family’s farm in Northern California, among ripening zinfandel and cabernet grapes, Mead’s works focus with spare and wistful devastation on the themes of landscape, environment, heritage, and death. Her most recent collection, World of Made and Unmade, appeared as a finalist for the Griffin Prize and the LA Times Poetry Prize. Of this book, fellow poet Donald Revell says: “We find distances we’d never expected in the gilded lapse of time. And Mead sets these distances into motion, into a cinema of true feeling and insuperable dignity.” Mead’s poems in World of Made and Unmade are explorations of human boundaries; they interrogate with intimate, gorgeous simplicity the question of what it means to live, and, by natural extension, what it means to die.
We hope to see you at Jane Mead’s lecture on “Voice in Poetry” at 9 a.m. on July 31! She will also be reading at Napa Valley College’s Upper Valley Campus. Visit the Literary Events page for information on how to attend lectures and readings.