John Gery

Research Professor (Poetry)John Gery

Photo by Petar 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, and editor. After teaching at Stanford and San Jose State Universities for two years, he 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, American Immigrant Poetry, Forms and Techniques of Poetry, British and American literature, Poetry and Drama, and Composition, as well as single author courses (Ezra Pound, Emily Dickinson, Robert Lowell, John Ashbery, Adrienne Rich, others). He has directed more than fifty Masters' theses in poetry writing and criticism and served on many other thesis committees. In 1990 John was awarded the UNO Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching and in 1997 the English Department's Outstanding Service Award. Since 1999, he has been a University Research Professor of English. He was named a Seraphia D. Leyda Teaching Fellow (2009-12) and has received other research and writing awards from the College of Liberal Arts and Office of Research.

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 Summer Poet-in-Residence at Bucknell University (2001, 03, 06, 13) 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). In October 2012 he was a Visiting Professor at Beijing Institute of Technology in China. He has also lectured and read his poetry at Ca' Foscari University of Venice, University of Roma Tre, Centro Studi Americani (Rome), Hofstra, Notre Dame University of Maryland, St. Bonaventure, SUNY-New Paltz, Knox College, Fresno State, University of California-San Diego, Texas A & M, Northern Iowa, Philadelphia Community College, The Writer's Center (MD), and elsewhere.

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, Journal of Cold War Studies, 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 poems have also been translated into Serbian, Italian, Chinese, Romanian, Korean, 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 he 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), London (2011), and Dublin (2013). In collaboration with UNO Press, he edits a 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 also at work on a new collection of poems (including a series of dramatic monologues), 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 their son, Petar Gery.

Selected Publications: Poetry

Charlemagne: A Song of Gestures (Plumbers Ink, 1983), Plumbers Ink Award

The Enemies of Leisure (Story Line, 1995), Critic's Choice Award (San Francisco Review of Books), Publisher's Weekly Best Book of Poetry 1995

American Ghost/Americki Duh (bilingual, tr. by Biljana D. Obradovic, Cross-Cultural, 1999), European Award, Circle Franz Kafka (Prague)

Davenport's Version (Portals, 2003)

A Gallery of Ghosts (UNO P, 2008), Times-Picayune Best Book of 2008

Lure/Mamac (bilingual, tr. by Svetlana Nedeljkov, 2012)

Have at You Now! (CW Books, 2014), Nominee, Pushcart Prize


Selected Publications: Prose

Nuclear Annihilation and Contemporary American Poetry: Ways of Nothingness (UP of Florida,1996)

In Venice and in the Veneto with Ezra Pound, with Rosella Mamoli Zorzi and others (Supernova, 2007)

Hmayeak Shems: Armenian Poet of Pure Spirit, with Vahe Baladouni (UP of America, 2010)


Edited Books

Ed. with William Pratt, Ezra Pound: Ends and Beginnings (AMS P, 2011)

Ed. with Caterina Ricciardi and Massimo Bacigalupo, The Poets of the Sala Capazucchi (bilingual) (UNO, 2011)

Ed. with Daniel Kempton and H.R. Stoneback, Imagism: Essays on Its Initiation, Impact, and Influence (UNO, 2013)

Ed. with Richard Parker, In Place of Love and Country: Poems in the Pound Tradition (Crater P, 2013)