Jeff Encke was born in Pittsburgh in 1971 and raised in Seattle with his three younger brothers and sister, never more than a stone’s throw from the Puget Sound. He began college with plans to become a mathematician and film-maker, but left a fledgling poet, graduating from Wesleyan University (Middletown, Connecticut) in 1993. Faced with the options of pursuing an MFA in poetry or PhD in English, he chose the latter, moving to New York and eventually completing his doctorate at Columbia University, where he served as writer-in-residence in the Program in Narrative Medicine in 2002.
Encke is currently at work on several books, including three full-length collections of verse; a revision of his doctoral dissertation, Manifestos: A Social History of Proclamation; a study of the influence of technological innovation on the production and reception of art, Rogue Magic; and an anthology of manifestos. His poetry has appeared in various national journals, including American Poetry Review, Barrow Street, Black Warrior Review, Colorado Review, Kenyon Review Online, Octopus, Salt Hill, and Tarpaulin Sky.
Encke also writes literary criticism, with work on John Ashbery, Charles Bukowski, Sam Hamill, and James Schuyler appearing in Post-War Literatures in English, the Journal of American Studies, A Companion to 20th Century American Poetry, and the Encyclopedia of New York School Poets. He has been a research and teaching assistant to Robert Richardson, Steven Marcus, Edward Said, and Kenneth Koch; presented papers at the University of New Mexico, University of Vermont, and Harvard; and taught creative writing and criticism at both Columbia and Richard Hugo House in Seattle, where he currently resides.