Biography

gsd_111117_3953-EditThe Short Version:  After a series of jobs in New York publishing and a residential poetry fellowship year at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown MA, Jason Zuzga completed an M.F.A. in poetry and nonfiction at the University of Arizona, followed by a year as the poet-in-residence in the James Merrill House. He currently teaches at the University of Pennsylvania, where he received a Ph.D. from the English Department for his dissertation “Uncanny World: Envisioning Nature in Documentary” in August 2016, awarded the Diane Hunter Prize for Best Dissertation, 2016-2017, from the English Department of the University of Pennsylvania. The dissertation was supervised by Prof. Charles Bernstein (Donald T. Regan Professor of English and Comparative Literature), with the additional guidance of  committee members Prof. Karen Redrobe (Elliot and Roslyn Jaffe Endowed Professor in Film Studies) and Prof. Timothy Corrigan (Professor of English, Cinema Studies, and History of Art) and honorary member Prof. John Tresch (Associate Professor of the History and Sociology of Science). His debut book of poetry, Heat Wake was published by Saturnalia Books in March 2016. His poetry and nonfiction has been published in numerous journals, such as Tin House, the Yale Review, and the Paris Review. He is the Other/Nonfiction co-editor of FENCE.

The Long Version: Jason Zuzga was born in Camden NJ in 1972 and grew up in Cherry Hill, NJ, a town named after its shopping mall. He attended Brown University, where he concentrated in Comparative Literature with an additional focus on biology. During a year off from college, he interned at the Ecco Press, lived in Montreal, sailed on a tall ship, did marine biological research, and drove a horse-drawn carriage around Independence Hall. After college, he lived in New York City where he was employed in a number of publishing jobs, working for the president of Literary Agency Harold Ober Associates, at Ballantine Books, and finally at Alfred A. Knopf, where we was the assistant to poetry editors Harry Ford and Deborah Garrison and editor Ann Close. He ultimately worked with authors to create original content for the Knopf website until moving to Tucson, Arizona to complete an M.F.A. in poetry and nonfiction at the University of Arizona. During his last year at Knopf, he worked remotely, living in Provincetown, MA, during a residential poetry fellowship year at the Fine Arts Work Center. In Tucson, he taught creative writing and curated a multimedia reading series at the University of Arizona Poetry Center, from a symposium on the comic Krazy Kat to Tohono O’odham language instruction. After completing his M.F.A., he lived for a year in the James Merrill House as the poet-in-residence, where, in addition to writing, he designed the official website of the poet Amy Clampitt.  He currently teaches at the University of Pennsylvania, where he received a Ph.D. from the English Department for his dissertation “Uncanny World: Envisioning Nature in Documentary” in August 2016, awarded the Diane Hunter Prize for Best Dissertation, 2016-2017, from the English Department of the University of Pennsylvania. The dissertation was supervised by Prof. Charles Bernstein (Donald T. Regan Professor of English and Comparative Literature), with the additional guidance of  committee members Prof. Karen Redrobe (Elliot and Roslyn Jaffe Endowed Professor in Film Studies) and Prof. Timothy Corrigan (Professor of English, Cinema Studies, and History of Art) and honorary member Prof. John Tresch (Associate Professor of the History and Sociology of Science).He has continued as a lecturer at UPenn currently. He is the Other/Nonfiction co-editor of FENCE.  His debut book of poetry, Heat Wake, was published by Saturnalia Books in March 2016 and has been reviewed by Publishers Weekly and Under a Warm Green Linden.

He can be reached at jasonzuzga@gmail.com.

Photo by Edward Cohen.