Jane Mead was born on August 13, 1958, in Baltimore. She received a BA from Vassar College in 1982, an MA from Syracuse University in 1986, and an MFA from the University of Iowa in 1988.
Mead authored several poetry collections, including To the Wren, Collected & New Poems (Alice James Books, 2019); World of Made and Unmade (Alice James Books, 2016), which was a finalist for the Griffin Prize and the LA Times Book Award and longlisted for the National Book Award; Money Money Money | Water Water Water (Alice James Books, 2014); and The Lord and the General Din of the World (Sarabande Books, 1996).
Of her work, the poet Gerald Stern writes, “Jane Mead’s mission is to rescue—to search and rescue; and the mind, above all, does the work…. Her poems are a beautiful search for liberation and rebirth.”
Mead was the recipient of a fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation, a grant from the Lannan Foundation, and a Whiting Writers Award. She taught at Colby College, Southwest Texas State University, the University of Iowa, and Wake Forest University, among others. She managed her family’s ranch in northern California and co-owned Prairie Lights in Iowa City. She died on September 8, 2019.