Grant Recipients Grants to Artists Poetry 2012

Jack Collom

A black and white portrait of Jack Collom in front of a blurred hallway. He has short curly hair and a mustache and is wearing a collared jacket.
Photo by John Sarsgard.
  • 2012 Grants to Artists
  • Poetry
  • Poet, Teacher
  • Born Chicago, IL, 1931
  • Died 2017, Boulder, CO

The money took much of the pressure off the incessant scramble to make a living for my wife and myself, allowing me to focus more intensely on my poetry and its dissemination into the community and world. The recognition aspect of the FCA award has been inspirational too, ranging from simple justification of my poetry vice to subtle flashes of 'yes, you can' in the exploratory outskirts of linguistics.

- Jack Collom, January 2, 2013

Artist Statement

In a sense (innocence?),

I believe that all language can

belong in poetry. And I believe that

language is a sort of roughly frilled

edge of nature. And that nature

is everything in the Universe (although

"nature" has endless other

definitions, such as "beauty" and

"the desire to punch someone in the

nose"). I also believe that this

statement is not poetry because

it's too awkward visually and musically.

- December 2014


Poet Jack Collom is the author of twenty-five books and chapbooks of poetry. His FCA-supported volume, Second Nature (2012), explores questions of nature and takes a biological approach to poetry. Collom's work is focused on inventing new kinds of nature writing. Collom's works include Blue Heron & IBC (1972), The Fox (1981), Arguing with Something Plato Said (1990), Entering the City (1997), Red Car Goes By (2001), Poetry Everywhere (2005), Exchanges of Earth and Sky (2006), and Situation Sings (2008).

Following his FCA support, Collom's work Second Nature (2012) was awarded the 2013 Colorado Book Award. Prior to his Grants to Artists, Collom received two Poetry Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts (1980,1990).

Collom received a B.S. from Colarado State University (1952), a B.A. from the University of Colorado (1972), and an M.A. in English from the University of Colorado (1974). He served in the United States Air Force for four years in the U.S. as well as in Libya and Germany. Collom has been a freelance poetry teacher, and an adjunct professor at Naropa University, Colorado.

"Migration," from FCA-supported Second Nature, 2012.
"Starting With the Room," from FCA-supported Second Nature, 2012.
Brown-hued photograph of a heron standing on a log in water with the title
Cover image of FCA-supported Second Nature, 2012.