Jackson Mac Low

1922 –

Jackson Mac Low was born in Chicago on September 12, 1922 and was educated at the University of Chicago and Brooklyn College.

Mac Low was a poet and composer, as well as a writer of performance art pieces, essays, plays, and radio shows. Additionally, he was a painter and multimedia performance artist, often working in collaboration with his wife, Anne Tardos. Mac Low’s books include Two Plays: The Marrying Maiden and Verdurous Sanguinaria (Green Integer Books, 1999); 20 Forties (Zasterle Press, 1999); Barnesbook (Green Integer, 1996); 42 Merzgedichte in Memoriam Kurt Schwitters (Station Hill, 1994); Pieces o’Six: Thirty-three Poems in Prose, 1983–1987 (Sun & Moon Press, 1992); and Twenties: 100 Poems (Roof Books, 1991), as well as the compact disc Open Secrets (1993), comprising eight works performed by Tardos, Mac Low, and seven instrumentalists.

Mac Low taught at many schools, notably the Mannes School of Music (1966) and New York University (1966–73). He has taught creative writing and lectured at SUNY-Albany, SUNY-Binghamton, Temple, University of California, San Diego, Naropa Institute, Schule für Dichtung in Vienna, Bard College, and Brown University.

Mac Low was the recipient of fellowships and grants from the Creative Artists Public Service Program, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, PEN, and the New York Foundation for the Arts. He received the the Wallace Stevens Award from the Academy of American Poets in 1999.

Jackson Mac Low lived in New York City with Tardos until his death on December 8, 2004.