Brian Teare was born in 1974 and raised in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He received a BA in English and creative writing from the University of Alabama and an MFA in creative writing from Indiana University in 2000, after which he was a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University.
Teare is the author of six books, including Doomstead Days (Nightboat Books, 2019), winner of the Four Quartets Prize and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle, Kingsley Tufts, and Lambda Literary Awards; Companion Grasses (Omnidawn, 2013), a finalist for the Kingsley Tufts Award; Pleasure (Ahsahta Press, 2010), winner of the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry; and The Room Where I Was Born (University of Wisconsin Press, 2003), winner of the Brittingham Prize and the Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry. In the fall of 2022, Nightboat Books will reissue The Empty Form Goes All the Way to Heaven, and, in fall of 2023, Nightboat will publish Teare’s seventh book, Poem Bitten by a Man.
About Teare, the poet Rachel Zucker has written,
Brian Teare is master poet. He can “write rain into the picture” and make the written word seem real.... He resists the way the lyric attempts to lull us or protect us from pain. In [his] poems language fails. The form, the poem, paper, the lyric—even pain fails. And in this failure I am moved beyond words, through words, and brought back to pleasure, to freedom, to the perfect weather of true grief, to the spectacular disaster that is life.
Teare is the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Antiquarian Society, Headlands Center for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, MacDowell, the Pew Foundation, and Vermont Studio Center.
In 2008, Teare founded Albion Books, a micro-press specializing in limited- edition poetry chapbooks, broadsides, and print ephemera. After more than a decade of teaching and writing in the San Francisco Bay Area and eight years in Philadelphia, he is currently an associate professor of English at University of Virginia and lives in Charlottesville. In June 2023, Teare served as Guest Editor of the Poem-a-Day series.