In Mount Sterling, Kentucky, Mark Jarman was born in 1952. He earned a
BA from the University of California, Santa Cruz, in 1974 and an MFA from
the University of Iowa in 1976. He is the author of numerous collections of poetry: Bone Fires: New and Selected Poems (Sarabande, 2010); Epistles (2007); To the Green Man (2004); Unholy Sonnets (2000); Questions for Ecclesiastes, which won the 1998 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; The Black Riviera (1990), which won the 1991 Poets' Prize; Far and Away (1985); The Rote Walker (1981); and North Sea (1978). In 1992 he published Iris, a book-length poem.
During the 1980s he and Robert McDowell founded, edited, and published the controversial magazine The Reaper, selections from which have been published in book form as The Reaper Essays (1996). Jarman has published two collections of his own essays, The Secret of Poetry, in 2001, and Body and Soul, in 2002. He is also co-editor of Rebel Angels: 25 Poets of the New Formalism (with David Mason; 1996).
His awards include a Joseph Henry Jackson Award and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. He is Centennial Professor of English at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, where he lives with his wife, the soprano Amy Jarman; they have two
daughters, Claire and Zoë.