Brian Jackson Poetry

About Brian

Brian Jackson has experienced the broad sweep of American culture from country to city life. As a boy he spent summers on his grandfather’s Iowa farm, hoeing corn and herding cattle. Winters he cleaned test tubes and flasks at Syracuse University, in his father's microbiology lab. Since then, he has continued a life that encompasses such extremes: as a cross-country motorcyclist breaking the bonds of the quotidian at extra-legal speed, as a herald of the High Iron recording the romance of railroading, as a cabbie in the Big Apple driving the last of the Checker Cabs, as a dweller in small-town America witnessing the sprawl of suburbia and the passing of the family farm.

Jackson’s education has also been one of contrasts. He attended the University of Kansas; the Jack Kerouac School for Disembodied Poetics (serving as teaching assistant for Beat poets Allen Ginsberg and Gregory Corso); New York University; Southern Illinois University; and the University of Illinois at Urbana and Springfield. He holds a doctorate from Saint Louis University in trans-Atlantic Modernism. With this background, Jackson sees– everywhere– historical palimpsests, and imagines how the past connects, informs, and flows through the present in his poetry.

Taking his inspiration from Guillaume Apollinaire, Ezra Pound, and Beat Generation poets, he combines in his own poetry Apollinaire's imaginative leaps with Pound's imagism and the Beat's surrealism. He has sought to create a poetry that is more rhythmically distinguished than most free verse, employing a choriamb as the center of Aeolic prosody pioneered by Pound for English use.

Jackson has raised an intelligent, sensitive son, and taught writing and literature to hundreds of students. In his spare time, he continues to perfect his beginner's knowledge of Diminished 7th chords and the intricacies of early Chuck Berry licks.

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