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Jody Bolz


Jody Bolz received her MFA from Cornell University, where she studied with A.R. Ammons. Her poems have appeared widely in literary magazines—The American Scholar, North American Review, Ploughshares, Poetry East, and Prairie Schooner among them—and in a number of anthologies, including Ghost Fishing: An Eco-Justice Poetry Anthology (University of Georgia Press, 2018).


She taught for more than twenty years at George Washington University and edited Poet Lore, America’s oldest poetry journal, from 2002 to 2019. Bolz is the author of A Lesson in Narrative Time (Gihon Books, 2004), Shadow Play (Turning Point, 2013), and The Near and Far, forthcoming in October of 2019.

The Value of Support

"The RJF Writer's Award I received 20 years ago reanimated my writing life at a vulnerable moment. I was raising children and teaching college, using the public library's "quiet room" as my studio since I didn't have an office of my own at home. Although I was publishing steadily in journals and anthologies, I hadn’t yet placed a collection of poems, and I was losing my optimism. Thanks to the foundation’s support, I was able to devote much of 1999 to completing the first draft of a book-length poetic sequence, A Lesson in Narrative Time.


By 2001, I had a home office (a converted garage); in 2004, I published A Lesson in Narrative Time; in 2006, I received a generous award from the Maryland State Arts Council, which allowed me to work full-time on a new collection while sending an earlier manuscript around to small-press publishers—an effort that eventually resulted in the placement of Shadow Play, a novella in verse. My third book, The Near and Far, will be published this year. While financial assistance was essential to these projects, the honor of having my work recognized during a time of self-doubt was absolutely invaluable."

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