Andrew Joron Biography

Born in San Antonio, poet Andrew Joron was raised in Germany, Massachusetts, and Montana. He earned a BA in the philosophy of science at the University of California at Berkeley, where he studied with anarchist philosopher Paul Feyerabend.

Addressing the trajectory of his work in a 2010 interview with poetry blogger Christopher Nelson, Joron explained, "A fascination with sound, with syntax, and other properties of language defeated my earliest ambition, which was to become a science-fiction writer. I realized I was more interested in language as a speculative substance, and not as a platform for building plot and character." In a 2009 review of The Sound Mirror (2008) for Bookforum, critic Noah Eli Gordon observes that Joron has "managed to create poetry attuned to materialist critiques of language without abandoning any of the art’s mystery and metaphysical inquiry." Influenced by poet Gustaf Sobin and surrealist mystic Philip Lamantia, Joron composes experimental poems in a mode he calls "speculative lyric," steeped in science-fiction and surrealism and engaging the physical and sonic matter of language.

Joron is the author of several collections of poetry, including Trance Archive: New and Selected Poems (2010), Fathom (2003), and Science Fiction (1992). Joron is also the author of The Cry at Zero: Selected Prose (2007) and Neo-Surrealism; Or, The Sun at Night: Transformations of Surrealism in American Poetry (2004). His poetry has also been included in the anthologies American Hybrid (2009) and Primary Trouble (1996).

His translations from the German include surrealist Richard Anders' The Footsteps of One Who Has Not Stepped Forth (1999) and philosopher Ernst Bloch's Literary Essays (1998).

Joron works as a freelance bibliographer and indexer, and plays the theremin as a member of the musical improvisational trio Free Rein. He lives in Berkeley.

In April 2013, Joron was a featured writer for Harriet.