John Gery

Research Professor (Poetry)John Gery


Phone: 504-280-6361



Education: MA, University of Chicago, 1976 | MA, Stanford University, 1978

Originally from Lititz, Pennsylvania, John Gery is a poet, critic of modern and contemporary poetry, collaborative translator of poetry, and editor. After teaching at Stanford and San Jose State Universities for two years, he first joined UNO as an Instructor in 1979. He is a member of both the Creative Writing MFA and Women's Studies faculties. His courses have included Poetry Writing, Modern and Contemporary Poetry, Poetics, Women's Poetry, Caribbean Poetry, British and American literature, Poetry and Drama, and Composition, as well as single author courses (Ezra Pound, John Ashbery, Adrienne Rich, Robert Lowell, others). He has directed more than forty Masters' theses in poetry writing and criticism and served on many other thesis committees. In 1990 John received the UNO Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching and in 1997 was honored with the English Department's Outstanding Service Award. Since 1999, he has been a University Research Professor of English. He was awarded a Seraphia D. Leyda Teaching Fellowship for 2009-12.

John has also taught at the University of Iowa (1991, 1993) and been a Visiting Research Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study, University of Minnesota (2006). He has been a Poet-in-Residence at Bucknell University (2001, 03, 06) and was the 2006 Annadora Gregory Lecturer at Doane College, Nebraska. In 2007, he was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to the University of Belgrade (Serbia), and in October 2012 he lectured as a Visiting Professor at Beijing Institute of Technology in China.

John's poetry, criticism, and reviews have appeared in literary and academic journals throughout the country, as well as in Europe, including in the African American Review, Belgrade English Language and Literature Studies,Callaloo, Contemporary Literature, Kenyon Review, The Iowa Review, Louisiana Literature, New Orleans Review, Notre Dame Review, Paideuma, Paris Review, Prairie Schooner, South Central Review, Southwest Review, Verse, and West Branch. For his work, he has received a Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts (1991-92), an Artist Fellowship from the Louisiana Division of the Arts (2002), two Deep South Writers Poetry Awards (1983, 1987), and a European Award of the Circle Franz Kafka in Prague (2000), among other awards. His collection of poems, The Enemies of Leisure, received a Critic's Choice Award from the San Francisco Review of Books and was named a Best Book of 1995 by Publisher's Weekly. His poems have also been translated into Serbian, Italian, Chinese, Romanian, and Bengali.

In addition to writing poetry, John has collaborated on poetry translations with others, including (from Armenian) Vahe Baladouni, (from Serbian) Biljana D. Obradovic, (from Chinese) Xiaobin Yang and (from French) Ivan Zaknic. Since 1990 John has directed the Ezra Pound Center for Literature at Brunnenburg, Dorf Tirol, Italy, a biannual summer program with seminars on the poetry of Ezra Pound and poetry writing, conducted at a castle in the Italian Alps where Pound once lived, now the home of Pound's daughter, Mary de Rachewiltz, and her family. In 2005 he was elected Secretary of the Ezra Pound International Conference (EPIC) and has convened Pound conferences in Venice (2007), Rome (2009), and London (2011). In collaboration with UNO Press, he is a new series of creative and critical books related to Pound and Modernism. He has also served as an Advisory Editor to Twentieth Century Literature, New Orleans Review, Contemporary Literature, and several university presses.
John's current research interests include modernism, contemporary poetry and cultural and ethnic identity. He is completing a new collection of poems, a collection of essays on Pound, and a walking guide to Pound's Venice. John lives in Mid City, New Orleans, with his wife, Biljana Obradovic, a poet and Professor of English and Creative Writing at Xavier University of Louisiana, and with his son, Petar Gery.

Selected Publications: Poetry
Charlemagne: A Song of Gestures (Plumbers Ink, 1983)
The Enemies of Leisure (Story Line, 1995)
American Ghost/Americki Duh (bilingual, tr. by Biljana D. Obradovic, Cross-Cultural, 1999)
Davenport's Version (Portals, 2003)
A Gallery of Ghosts (UNO P, 2008)
Lure/Mamac (bilingual, tr. by Svetlana Nedeljkov, 2012)

Selected Publications: Prose
Nuclear Annihilation and Contemporary American Poetry: Ways of Nothingness(UP of Florida, 1996) with Rosella Mamoli Zorzi and others
In Venice and in the Veneto with Ezra Pound (Supernova, 2007) with Vahe Baladouni
Hmayeak Shems: Armenian Poet of Pure Spirit (UP of America, 2010) Ed. with William Pratt
Ezra Pound: Ends and Beginnings(AMS P, 2011)