J. P. Grasser

J. P. Grasser was raised outside of Washington, D.C., and on his family’s fish farm in Brady, Nebraska. He holds BA in English from Sewanee: The University of the South and an MFA in poetry from Johns Hopkins University. A 2017–19 Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, he holds a PhD from the University of Utah, where he edited Quarterly West

Grasser is the winner of the first Treehouse Climate Action Poem Prize for his poem “Letter to My Great, Great Grandchild.” About his poem, judges Julia Alvarez and Bill McKibben said,

“Letter to my Great, Great Grandchild” is a stirring communiqué both to a specific great great-grandchild and to all the children of the future, who might wonder in bafflement: what on earth were our ancestors thinking when they did the damage they have done? The poem’s command of voice and tone—a combination of tenderness and ruefulness laced with terror; its many little surprises—the twists and turns that take the reader to unexpected places; as well as technically, the control of the free verse couplet form—is compelling. By alerting us with specific, vivid, intimate instances as to what might be lost in the future, the poem also delivers its letter to the reader’s door: what will we do to postpone, if not prevent, the end of earth as our home?

Grasser serves as an associate editor for 32 Poems and lives in Montana’s Bitterroot Valley.