Jon Victor Anderson (1940–2007) was an American poet and educator.
Poet Jon Anderson was born in Somerville, Massachusetts. He earned a BA at Northeastern University and an MFA at the University of Iowa. Anderson’s meditative, lyric poems explore memory, death, and the natural world. “My prime motive for writing is self-confrontation, and I find poems the best way to employ language to do this,” Anderson said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. “My poetry isn’t for everyone. It’s for people like myself who want to contend with themselves. I think of my poems as intimate conversations with close friends, to whom I’m not afraid to reveal my vulnerabilities and loneliness.”
During his lifetime, Anderson published seven volumes of poetry, including Day Moon (2001), The Milky Way: Poems 1967–1982 (1983), the National Book Award–nominated Death & Friends (1970), and Looking for Jonathan(1968). His poetry has been featured in numerous anthologies, including The New American Poets (1960), The Morrow Anthology of Younger American Poets(1985), and The American Poetry Anthology (1983). Anderson’s honors included a fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, two awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Poetry Society of America’s Shelley Memorial Award.
He taught for nearly 30 years at the University of Arizona as well as at the University of Portland, Ohio University, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Iowa.