John Wood, the editor of 21st Editions, received the 2009 Gold Deutscher Fotobuchpreis for his collection
of poems Endurance and Suffering: Narratives of Disease, as well as the Iowa Poetry Prize of the
University of Iowa Press twice, for In Primary Light (1993) and The Gates of the Elect Kingdom (1996).
In 1999 the University of Arkansas Press published his Selected Poems 1968-1998. He founded McNeese
State University’s MFA Program in creative writing and directed it for twenty-five years. He is also a
well-known art and photographic critic whose books have won a variety of awards. He co-curated the
1995 Smithsonian Institution / National Museum of American Art exhibition “Secrets of the Dark Chamber.”
“John Wood is a poet of often harrowing candor, and at the same time a strange but unmistakable authentic
sweetness pervades whatever he writes. For absolute integrity of feeling and expression, there is nobody
like him.” -Amy Clampitt
“Wood strikes a chord somewhat like Samuel Beckett’s; however negative Wood’s statements are, they
are made with gusto and felicity, in exuberant long sentences full of energy, invention and baroque high-jinks.
At the crossroads of his attitudes and his style is where we find Wood’s signature.” -Richard Wilbur
“The most lucid and engaging of the postmodern southern poets is John Wood, who iterates the ‘vital
relationships’ between the homely, even the grotesque, and the transcendent. Wood confirms the links
between low and high, pop and elite, southern and celestial. He begins in a uniquely American charnel
house and ends in Tuscany with the angels of Filippo Lippi and Fra Angelico.” -The Southern Review
“Wood subsumes the imagination inherent in religious prophecy into his own imagination. With one foot
on the ground and one dipped in the River Jordan, he brings unforgettably to life the homely and visionary
mind that has yearned for spiritual utopia. Wood’s rhapsodic verse rises in lyrical, prophetic periods where
the visionary harmonizes with the homely and the erotic.” -The Hudson Review
Click here to read an interview with John Wood by Daniel Westover.