Born in Columbus, Ohio, Jon Thompson was educated at University College, Dublin where he received a B.A. in English Language and Literature and an M.A. in English and American Literature (with a thesis on Robert Creeley). He did a Ph.D. at LSU, and has taught at North Carolina State University ever since where he is now a Professor in the English Department. His poetry has appeared in many journals including The American Literary Review, Blackbox Manifold, Colorado Review, The Common, Hayden's Ferry Review, The Iowa Review, New Ohio Review, Shearsman magazine and The White Review. His first collection of poems was The Book of the Floating World (Parlor Press, 2007). His next book, published by Shearsman Books in 2009, was a collection of lyrical essays, After Paradise: Essays on the Fate of American Writing. He also provided an Introduction for D.H. Lawrence's Studies in Classic American Literature, in the Shearsman Classics series, which appeared in 2011. Shearsman published his second collection of poems, Landscape with Light.in 2014, his third, Strange Country in 2016, and a further volume, Notebook of Last Things in 2019.
Thompson also edits the international online journal, Free Verse: A Journal of Contemporary Poetry & Poetics and Free Verse Editions, which now has over 30 titles on its list.
See Jon Thompson's website here.
'After Paradise: Essays on the Fate of American Writing' lays bare the richness of classic American texts and their fraught relationship with what Jon Thompson sees as a culture of violence and war. Focusing on William Bradford's 'Of Plymouth Plantation', Herman Melville's 'Bartleby the Scrivener', Walt Whitman's 'Specimen Days', Emily Dickinson's 'Letters' and Michael Herr's 'Dispatches', 'After Paradise' offers a series of moving, interconnected reflections upon what Thompson calls "the fate of American writing." Part cultural reflection, part lyrical criticism, part idiosyncratic literary history, After Paradise attempts to restore a sense of the original strangeness of American literature and culture by pushing the boundaries of the essay form.