I grew up in Chicago, the child of Jewish immigrants fleeing Vienna in the wake of the Nazi invasion. I was educated in Chicago's jazz and blues clubs, by early encounters with poets and jazz musicians, and at the University of Chicago where I studied with Hannah Arendt, Saul Bellow, Harold Rosenberg and David Grene on the Committee on Social Thought. I have lived in New York, Paris, San Francisco and Washington DC and now reside in a small town bordering the Atlantic.
In my twenties, I taught at the University of Chicago and the University of Illinois. I left the academy before I turned thirty.
I worked in New York publishing for couple of years, then moved to Paris where I wrote, taught English, and did research and report writing for UNESCO. After moving to San Francisco, I was a CETA artist, then returned to the academy as Director of the Poetry Center at San Francisco State University. I was also Director of Advertising of Supercuts. But much of my thirties was spent reading, writing and traveling. I was maximally employed, though not gainfully so.
Since I turned forty, I have been an entrepreneur and consultant in the technology industry. More information on my backround in business is available here.
I began writing poetry as a child, and my work was first printed in an anthology of young poets when I was 15. I have published poetry and literary criticism actively since my mid-twenties; my work has appeared in dozens of newspapers, literary journals and anthologies including The Norton Anthology of Post-modern Poetry, the now classic In The American Tree, Primary Trouble: An Anthology of Contemporary American Poetry, and other anthologies. I am the author of more than a dozen books.