Mark Jarman is Centennial Professor of English at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. A graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz (B.A., 1974) and the University of Iowa (M.F.A., 1976), he is the author of nine books of poetry: North Sea (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 1978), The Rote Walker (Carnegie-Mellon University Press, 1981), Far and Away (Carnegie-Mellon University Press, 1985), The Black Riviera (Wesleyan University Press, 1990), Iris (Story Line Press, 1992), Questions for Ecclesiastes (Story Line Press, 1997), Unholy Sonnets (Story Line Press, 2000), To the Green Man, (Sarabande Books, 2004), and Epistles (Sarabande Books, 2007). With David Mason, he has edited Rebel Angels: 25 Poets of the New Formalism (Story Line Press, 1996).
Jarman's awards include a Joseph Henry Jackson Award for his poetry in 1974, three NEA grants in poetry in 1977, 1983, and 1992, and a fellowship in poetry from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation for 1991-1992. His book The Black Riviera won the 1991 Poets' Prize. Questions for Ecclesiastes was a finalist for the 1997 National Book Critics Circle Award in poetry and won the 1998 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize from the Academy of American Poets and The Nation magazine.
His poetry and essays have been published widely in such periodicals and journals as The American Poetry Review, The Gettysburg Review, The Hudson Review, The New Yorker, Poetry, and The Southern Review. During the 1980's he and Robert McDowell founded, edited, and published the controversial magazine The Reaper. The Reaper Essays, published by Story Line Press in 1996, collects the essays they wrote together for The Reaper. Two collections of Jarman's own essays have been published: The Secret of Poetry from Story Line Press in 2001 and Body and Soul: Essays on Poetry from the University of Michigan's Poets on Poetry series in 2002.