James Reiss

Rookie - 0 Points (11 July 1941 - / New York City, New York)

Biography of James Reiss

James Reiss poet

James Reiss is an American poet.


James Reiss (pronounced "Reese") grew up in the Washington Heights section of New York City and in northern New Jersey. He earned his B.A. and his M.A. in English from the University of Chicago.

His poems have appeared in various magazines, including The Atlantic, Esquire, The Nation, The New Republic, The New Yorker, Poetry, Slate and Virginia Quarterly Review.

He has won grants from the Creative Artists Public Service Program of the New York State Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts. the New York Foundation for the Arts and the Ohio Arts Council. He has received awards from, among others, the Academy of American Poets, the Poetry Society of America, the Pushcart Press and the Unterberg Poetry Center of the 92nd Street Y in New York City. From 1971-1974 he was a regular poetry critic for The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, Ohio. In 1977 he won first prize in New York’s Big Apple Bicentennial Poetry Contest. He won four annual Zeitfunk awards for his reviewing, in 2007-2010, from the Public Radio Exchange.
In 1975-76 he taught as poet-in-residence at Queens College, CUNY.

He is Emeritus Professor of English and Founding Editor of Miami University Press at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where his students, among others, were Rita Dove and Adrienne Miller.

He has two married daughters, Heather and Crystal by his first wife, Barbara Eve Miller (née Klevs). His second wife, Mary Jo McMillin, wrote Mary Jo’s Cuisine: A Cookbook (2007). He lives in the Chicago area.

Grants/awards (selected)

Featured Illinois Author, Willow Review, spring 2012.
Zeitfunk Awards for Reviewing, The Public Radio Exchange, 2007-2010.
Helen & Laura Krout Memorial Ohioana Poetry Award, 2005.
Pulitzer Prize nomination, Ten Thousand Good Mornings, 2002.
Harriet Monroe Award, University of Chicago, judge, 1996.
Pushcart Prize, “A Rented House in the Country” (poem), 1996.
Dorland Mountain Arts Colony Fellow, Temecula, California:1991, 1993, 1999; admissions committee jury
member (writing): 1994-2004.
Poetry Society of America annual Lucille Medwick Award, 1989; annual Consuelo Ford Award, 1974.
New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, 1987-88.
College English Association of Ohio: Nancy Dasher Book Award for Express, 1984.
Ohio Arts Council Individual Artist grants: 1980, 1981.
Big Apple Bicentennial Poetry Award, first prize, New York City, 1977.
MacDowell Colony Fellowships, Peterborough, New Hampshire: 1970, 1974, 1976, 1977.
Bread Loaf Fellowship, Breadloaf Writers Conference, Middlebury, Vermont, 1975.
CAPS Awards (Creative Artists Public Service, New York State Council on the Arts): 1975-76; 1978-79.
Discovery Award, The Unterberg Poetry Center, 92nd Street Y, New York,1974.
National Endowment for the Arts Individual Writing Fellowship, 1974-75.
National Book Award Nomination, The Breathers, 1974.
Two Borestone Mountain Poetry Awards, 1974.
Academy of American Poets first prizes, University of Chicago, 1960, 1962.

James Reiss's Works:

Greatest Hits: 1970-2005 (Pudding House Press, 2005)
Riff on Six: New and Selected Poems (Salt Publishing, 2003)
Ten Thousand Good Mornings (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2001)
The Parable of Fire (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 1996)
Express (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1983)
The Breathers (Ecco Press, 1974)
Self-Interviews: James Dickey, co-ed. (Doubleday, 1970; Louisiana State University Press, 1984)

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PoemHunter.com Updates


Eighteen years you beat me over the head
with the butt end of our brotherhood.
So where are you now, Mr. Top
Dog on the Bunk Bed, Mr. Big
Back on the High School Football Team?

You hauled ass out of that town
with its flimsy goalposts.
Now you're down there with your Dead

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