Jeff Simpson was born and raised in southwest Oklahoma. He is the author of Vertical Hold (Steel Toe Books, 2011), a finalist for The National Poetry Series. He has also been a finalist for the Pablo Neruda Prize and Drake University's Emerging Writer Award. In 2010, he founded the online arts & literature magazine, The Fiddleback, for which he served as editor in chief. His poems have appeared in Forklift, Ohio; Prairie Schooner; Copper Nickel; Poet Lore, Harpur Palate, and others. Before joining the Academy of American Poets, he taught literature and creative writing at SUNY: Old Westbury and Queens College, and served as the advertising coordinator at Poets & Writers Magazine.