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.
Loosely based upon photographs of Occupied Japan, THE BOOK OF THE FLOATING WORLD ranges across a war-ravaged landscape, from a shattered Tokyo to scenes of a depleted countryside, with a close examination of the lives constructed out of that ruin. THE BOOK OF THE FLOATING WORLD explores the photographed moment-and poetry-as a peculiar and arresting instance of witness. Threaded throughout this collection is a set of interrelated meditations upon history, violence, war, memory, and art itself. First published in 2004, THE BOOK OF THE FLOATING WORLD is offered here in a new edition, complete with all the original photographs of Japan during the American Occupation-- the starting point for Jon Thompson's elegiac poetry. In their clarity and openness, these photographs frame the struggle between old and new identities taking shape in the postwar era. This new edition of THE BOOK OF THE FLOATING WORLD represents a ground-breaking collaboration between the visual and the literary in a format that traces the hidden connections between past and present.