David Mason was born and raised in Bellingham, Washington, and received degrees from The Colorado College and the University of Rochester. He spent most of his twenties traveling and working as a manual laborer, with a brief stint working for a film company. He has taught at Minnesota State University, Moorhead, and is now on the faculty of The Colorado College. He lives in the mountains outside Colorado Springs.
Mason’s two prize-winning books of poems are The Buried Houses (1991) and The Country I Remember (1996). With Mark Jarman he co-edited Rebel Angels: 25 Poets of the New Formalism (1996; reprinted 1998) and with the late John Frederick Nims Western Wind: An Introduction to Poetry (2000). His collection of literary essays, The Poetry of Life and the Life of Poetry, appeared in 2000. Mason is also a memoirist, fiction writer and frequent book reviewer.
Born in Muskegon, Michigan, John Frederick Nims received his M.A. from the University of Notre Dame and his Ph.D. in comparative literature from the University of Chicago. He has taught poetry and given workshops in poetry at Notre Dame, the University of Toronto, the University of Illinois at Urbana, Harvard University, Willialms College, the University of Florida, and the University of Illinois at Chicago. He has also been a Visiting Professor at the universities of Florence and Madrid and has been on the staff of many writers’ conferences, including the one at Bread Loaf, Vermont, where he taught for more than ten years. He is the author of eight books of poetry among them, The Iron Pastoral, Knowledge of the Evening (a National Book Award nominee), The Kiss: A Jambalaya, Zany in Denim, and
The Six Cornered Snowflake—books that have brought him awards from The National Foundation of Arts and Humanities, The American Academy of Arts and Letters, and Brandeis University, which awarded him its Creative Arts Citation in Poetry. He has been the Phi Beta Kappa poet at the College of William and Mary and at Harvard University. He has also published several books of translations, including Sappho to Valery: Poems in Translation, The Poems of St. John of the Cross, and The Complete Poems of Michelangelo and edited The Harper Anthology of Poetry. Several times on the staff of Poetry (Chicago), he was its editor from 1978 to 1984. In 1982, he was awarded the Fellowship of the Academy of American Poets; in 1986, a Guggenheim Fellowship for Poetry; in 1991, the Aiken Taylor Award for Modern American Poetry.