Poet; university professor.  Born–April 22, 1951, Kileen, Texas (grew up in Alabama). Married– Erin McGraw.  Education– Huntingdon College, B.A., 1974;  University of Alabama, M.A., 1976; M.F.A. University of Iowa, 1983. Additional study at University of Syracuse, 1976-78. Teacher at Carver Elementary School, Montgomery, 1973-74; instructor in composition, Auburn University at Montgomery, 1978-81;  at Baylor University, 1984-85; University of Cincinnati, 1985-  ; Humanities Distinguished Professor of English, Ohio State University.  Wallace Stegner Fellow in Poetry, Stanford University; Alfred Hodder Fellow at Princeton, 1989-1990. Received many awards for his writing, including the Academy of American Poets Award, 1984; Alabama Library Association Award, 1987; Witter Bynner Foundation Prize for Poetry, 1988; Frederick Bock Award, 1997, and others. Taft Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award, University of Cincinnati, 1994.


Contemporary authors online.


After the Lost War:  A Narrative. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1988.

American Rendering:  New and Selected Poems.  Boston:  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010.

Babylon in a Jar. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1998.

A Clown at Midnight. Boston:  Mariner Books:  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.

Diary of a Poem.  Ann Arbor:  University of Michigan Press, 2011.

Ecstatic in the Poison:New Poems.  Woodstock:  Overlook Press, 2003.

The Glass Anvil. Ann Arbor:  University of Michigan Press, 1997.

The Glass Hammer:  A Southern Childhood.  Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1994.

The Joker:  A Memoir. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2013.

The Never-Ending:  New Poems.  Boston:  Houghton Mifflin, 1991.

Saints and Strangers. Boston:  Houghton Mifflin, 1985.


Shut Up, You’re Fine! Poems for Very, Very Bad Children.  Woodstock: Overlook Press, 2009.


James Agee: Selected Poems.  New York: Library of America, 2008.


The Waltz He was Born For:  Lubbock, TX: Texas Tech University Press, 2002.