Born in Chillicothe, Ohio, in 1966, Juliana Spahr received a BA from Bard College and a PhD from SUNY Buffalo.
Spahr is the author of Well Then There Now (Black Sparrow Press, 2011); This Connection of Everyone with Lungs (University of California Press, 2005); Fuck You—Aloha—I Love You (Wesleyan University Press, 2001); and Response (Sun & Moon Press, 1996), winner of the National Poetry Series Award.
Spahr is also the author of Du Bois’s Telegram: Literary Resistance and State Containment (Harvard University Press, 2018) and Everybody’s Autonomy: Connective Reading and Collective Identity (University of Alabama Press, 2001). As an editor, she has published a number of critical works, including A Megaphone: Some Enactments, Some Numbers, and Some Essays about the Continued Usefulness of Crotchless-pants-and-a-machine-gun Feminism (Chain Links, 2011), coedited with Stephanie Young; Poetry and Pedagogy: the Challenge of the Contemporary (Palgrave/Macmillan, 2006), coedited with Joan Retallack; and American Women Poets in the Twenty-first Century (Wesleyan University Press, 2002), coedited with Claudia Rankine. From 1993 to 2003, Spahr coedited the arts journal Chain, which she cofounded with Jena Osman.
About Spahr’s work, the poet Anne Waldman has said,
By listing, by naming, the atrocities—the harrowing stats, the scary particulars—in our world-at-endless-war, we might at least exert control over our sanity and extend our mind and compassion to others. It is a connected universe as Spahr so forecfully reminds us.
In 2009, Spahr received the Hardison Poetry Prize awarded by the Folger Shakespeare Library.
Spahr teaches literature and lives in Berkeley, California.