Cleveland, United States
Jill Bialosky (second from the left) in her childhood with her sisters and mother.
(Jill Bialosky's first collection of poems is an exception...)
Jill Bialosky's first collection of poems is an exceptional one - moving, very accomplished, marked by an unflinching realism, and a sharply observant eye combined with great technical skill. Childhood and adolescence shattered by a father's death and the struggles of a mother to raise her daughters are among its concerns. The poems have dignity and magic that are quite distinctive.
(Subterranean is the moving and intimate account of the em...)
Subterranean is the moving and intimate account of the emergence of a female psyche. Like the figures of Persephone and Demeter, who appear in various forms in these poems, Bialosky finds a strange beauty in grief, and emerges from the realms of temptation with insight and distinction.
(A novel by an acclaimed American poet, House Under Snow i...)
A novel by an acclaimed American poet, House Under Snow is a story of mothers and daughters, of sexual identity, of a family slowly disintegrating after the premature death of its patriarch. Anna Crane, soon to be married, reflects back on her childhood in Ohio during the 1960s and '70s with her two sisters and her charismatic, self-destructing mother.
(Eleanor Cahn is a professor of literature, the wife of a ...)
Eleanor Cahn is a professor of literature, the wife of a preeminent cardiac surgeon, and a devoted mother. But on a trip to Paris to present a paper on Anna Karenina, Eleanor re-connects with Stephen - a childhood friend with whom she has had a complicated relationship - that forces her to realize that she has suppressed her passionate self for years. As the novel unfolds, we learn of her hidden erotic past: with alluring, elusive Stephen; with ethereal William, her high school boyfriend; with married, egotistical Adam, the painter who initiated her into the intimacies of the "life room," where the artist’s model sometimes becomes muse; and with loyal, steady Michael, her husband.
(Evoking Penelope and Odysseus and Orpheus and Eurydice, B...)
Evoking Penelope and Odysseus and Orpheus and Eurydice, Bialosky asks us to consider the instability of the self and the myriad forms it can take through art, in poems that are sexy, dark, and at once cool and emotional. The creation of the observing mind is paramount here; whether the lover goes or stays, the poems remain.
(History of a Suicide brings a crucial and all too rarely ...)
History of a Suicide brings a crucial and all too rarely discussed subject out of the shadows, and in doing so gives readers the courage to face their own losses, no matter what those may be. This searing and compassionate work reminds us of the preciousness of life and of the ways in which those we love are inextricably bound to us.
(The strongest collection yet from this widely praised poe...)
The strongest collection yet from this widely praised poet is about the central players in our lives, our relationships over time - between mother and son, mother and daughter - and how one generation of relationships informs and shapes the next.
(Edward Darby has everything a man hopes for: meaningful w...)
Edward Darby has everything a man hopes for: meaningful work, and a loving wife and daughter. With a rising career as a partner at an esteemed gallery, he strives not to let ambition, money, power, and his dark past corrode the sanctuary of his domestic and private life. Influenced by his father, a brilliant Romantics scholar, Edward has always been more of a purist than an opportunist. But when a celebrated artist controlled by her insecurities betrays him, and a beautiful sculptor stirs his heart - and his secrets - Edward becomes unmoored from his marriage, his career, and the memory of his beloved father. As the finalist of an important prize is announced, and desperate artists maneuver to seek its validation, Edward learns that treachery comes in many forms and that he’s hurtling toward an act that challenges his own notions about what comprises a life worth living.
(For Jill Bialosky, certain poems stand out like signposts...)
For Jill Bialosky, certain poems stand out like signposts at pivotal moments in life: the death of a father, adolescence, first love, leaving home, the suicide of a sister, marriage, the birth of a child, the day in New York City the Twin Towers fell. As Bialosky narrates these moments, she illuminates the ways in which particular poems offered insight, compassion, and connection, and shows how poetry can be a blueprint for living. In Poetry Will Save Your Life, Bialosky recalls when she encountered each formative poem, and how its importance and meaning evolved over time, allowing new insights and perceptions to emerge.
Jill Bialosky received her undergraduate degree from Ohio University and received a Master of Arts degree from the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University and a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Iowa Writer's Workshop.
Bialosky began her career as an editor, eventually becoming a poet and then a novelist. Her first book, a collection of poetry on themes such as childhood and motherhood called The End of Desire, was published in 1997. In 1998, she coedited a collection of stories and essays called Wanting a Child, which was partly inspired by the fact that two of her children died from premature birth. Returning to poetry, Bialosky authored a collection entitled Subterranean (2001), which includes "Seven Seeds" and other meditations on desire, grief, and motherhood. Bialosky's other volume of poetry is The Players (Knopf, 2015), which the poet Linda Gregerson called, “elegant and generous,” Intruder (Knopf, 2008). She also has written novels, The Prize (Counterpoint, 2015), a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice, and The Life Room (Harcourt, 2007). History of a Suicide: My Sister’s Unfinished Life (Atria Books, 2011) was a New York Times bestseller and a finalist for the Book for a Better Life Award and an Ohioana Award. Her most recent memoir, Poetry Will Save Your Life (Atria Books, 2017), is a wholly original approach, refracting Bialosky’s life through the prism of poems that have shaped, inspired, and helped her make sense of the world around her.
Bialosky's poems have been published in journals such as Paris Review, American Poetry Review, Agni Review, and New Republic. In 2002, she published her first novel, House Under Snow, which tells the story of three daughters and a mother coping with the father's death. The novel has been very favorably reviewed.
Bialosky's next book, Asylum: A Personal, Historical, Natural Inquiry in 103 Lyric Sections, will be published by Knopf in August 2020.
Jill Bialosky is an Executive Editor and Vice President of W. W. Norton & Company and lives in New York City.
On October 4, 2017, journalist William Logan published a review of Poetry Will Save Your Life, in which he accused Bialosky of plagiarism, citing passages in the book that bore similarities to a number of uncredited sources, including Wikipedia articles.
(For Jill Bialosky, certain poems stand out like signposts...)2017
(The strongest collection yet from this widely praised poe...)2015
(Evoking Penelope and Odysseus and Orpheus and Eurydice, B...)2008
(Jill Bialosky's first collection of poems is an exception...)1999
(History of a Suicide brings a crucial and all too rarely ...)2011
(A novel by an acclaimed American poet, House Under Snow i...)2002
(Eleanor Cahn is a professor of literature, the wife of a ...)2007
(Edward Darby has everything a man hopes for: meaningful w...)2015
(Subterranean is the moving and intimate account of the em...)2001
"I had wanted to get married, but I realized now that I never wanted to be a "wife."
"I suppose no one is truly dead when we go on loving them."
"We enter people's lives and then realize we've walked into a deep and long history that shapes and gives form to our every moment."
"There are certain things in life for which we can never be prepared."
"The great tragedy is that knowledge - even incomplete - comes late."
Jill Bialosky is married since 1988 to David Schwartz, a corporate lawyer. They have an adopted son Lucas.