John Poch has taught in the creative writing program at Texas Tech University since 2001. He also serves as series editor for the Vassar Miller Poetry Prize at the University of North Texas. Born in Erie, Pennsylvania, he earned an M.F.A. from the University of Florida and a Ph.D. from the University of North Texas. He received a "Discovery"/The Nation Prize in 1998, he was the inaugural Colgate University Creative Writing Fellow in 2000, and he was the Thornton Writer-in-Residence at Lynchburg College in 2007. During 2014 he was a Fulbright Core Scholar to the University of Barcelona.
His collections of poetry include Poems (2004), a finalist for the PEN/Osterweil Prize; Two Men Fighting with a Knife (2008), winner of the Donald Justice Award; Dolls (2009); and Fix Quiet (2015), winner of the 2014 New Criterion Poetry Prize.
His poems have appeared in journals such as Agni, The Nation, New England Review, New Republic, Paris Review, Ploughshares, Southwest Review and Yale Review. He is a founding editor of 32 Poems Magazine and a co-editor (with Deborah Ager and Bill Beverly) of Old Flame: From the First 10 Years of 32 Poems Magazine (2013).
In Texases, his fifth collection of poems, John Poch offers readers a kaleidoscope through which to view his home state--its geography and people, its past and present. Here is a mix of forms (prose poems, formal poems, free verse) and moods (awe, critique, humor) as vast and varied as the Texas landscape. Poet Grace Schulman describes it as an "ethereal" experience to enter into "poems visited by angels and biblical cadences and scriptural tones." And poet Patrick Phillips pronounces Texases to be "a kind of psalter, full of graceful and moving love songs to the land."