Discipline: Literature – poetry

Jan Freeman

Discipline: Literature – poetry
Region: Ashfield, MA
MacDowell fellowships: 2008

Jan Freeman is a poet and the former director of Paris Press (1995–2018), which is now an imprint of Wesleyan University Press. Her recent book of poems, Blue Structure, nominated for the Kingsley Tufts Award, was published by Calypso Editions. She is the author of Simon Says, nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award; Hyena, recipient of the Cleveland State Poetry Center poetry prize; and the chapbook Autumn Sequence. She has received fellowships from Moulin a Nef, MacDowell, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Wurlitzer Foundation, and other artist residencies. Her poems have appeared in many anthologies and journals, including American Poetry Review, Prairie Schooner, The Women's Review of Books, The Southern Review, Bloom, the Academy of American Poets Poem-a-Day, and most recently Plume. Her poems are forthcoming in POETRY Magazine, Salamander, and the anthology Welcome to the Resistance: Poetry as Protest. She is at work on a new collection of poems, Mobius.

Freeman founded Paris Press in 1995 to bring back into print Muriel Rukeyser's groundbreaking prose work The Life of Poetry. During the next 23 years, she published groundbreaking yet long-overlooked literature by women and choreographed educational-outreach programs nationally to educate the public about each Paris Press book and author. Other Paris Press titles include On Being Ill with Notes from Sick Rooms by Virginia Woolf; Open Me Carefully by Emily Dickinson; NBCC award-winning Ordinary Words and Simplicity by Ruth Stone; Solitude of Self by Elizabeth Cady Stanton; Visa for Avalon, Player’s Boy, and The Heart to Artemis by Bryher; Tell Me Another Morning by Zdena Berger; The Bosnia Elegies by Adrian Oktenberg; The Orgy and Houdini: A Musical by Rukeyser, and numerous other works. Paris Press books received critical acclaim from The New York Times, The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, National Public Radio, The LA Times, The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, and numerous other national and international review venues. Before founding Paris Press, Freeman wrote and edited secondary-school literature textbooks. She received her M.A. from New York University and her B.A. from Vassar College.

In April 2018, Paris Press was acquired by Wesleyan University Press, and the Press’s archives and Freeman's archives were acquired by the Amherst College Frost Library.



Jan Freeman worked in the Mansfield studio.

The Helen Coolidge Mansfield Studio was donated by graduates of the Mansfield War Service Classes for Reconstruction Aides. Helen Mansfield helped found the New York MacDowell Club. The small, shingled frame structure with stone foundation was originally fronted on the west side by a neat white picket fence and gate, a garden, and a stone pathway…

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