About Nan Cohen


Photo: Annahstasia Enuke

I am the author of two full-length collections of poetry: Unfinished City (Gunpowder Press, 2017), and Rope Bridge (Cherry Grove Editions, 2005). My most recent publication is a chapbook, Thousand-Year-Old Words (2021), from Glass Lyre Press. My poems have appeared in many journals and anthologies, including The New Republic, Slate, Ploughshares, Tikkun, Poet Lore, Poetry International, Poetry Northwest, and The Journal of the American Medical Association. Over the past two years, I’ve begun to publish nonfiction on literature, art, and culture in outlets such as Poetry Northwest, The Curator, Amsterdam Review, and Electric Literature.

I live in Los Angeles, where I have taught in the B.A. in Liberal Studies program at Antioch University Los Angeles, at Pierce College, at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, and in the Master of Professional Writing Program at the University of Southern California. I am now the Chair of the English Department at Viewpoint School, an occasional instructor in the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program, and serve as the Poetry Program Director of the Napa Valley Writers Conference, a summer conference in Napa, California. I have taught in many settings, including weekend workshops like those at the Sacramento Poetry Center, and at the Young Writers Workshop of the University of Virginia.

After earning a B.A. in English from Yale University and an M.A./C.Phil. in English from UCLA (where I also taught), I was a Stegner Fellow and a Jones Lecturer in Poetry in the Stanford University Creative Writing Program and the Emerging Writer Lecturer at Gettysburg College.  I have received fellowships and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rona Jaffe Foundation, and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference.

I competed in the Jeopardy! Teachers Tournament in 2017. I won’t spoil the outcome here (you may be able to find those episodes on Netflix), but you can find a number of posts about my Jeopardy! experience on this site. I’m very grateful to have appeared on the show and for the friends I’ve made through quizzing and trivia.

6 Responses to About Nan Cohen

  1. Susan Todd says:

    Dear Nan,
    Carol Purington and I are editing an anthology of poetry for new parents called Morning Song. It will be published in 2011 by St. Martin’s Press. We would like to use your lovely poem A Newborn Girl at Passover and wonder if you would grant us permission to use it? All best, Susan Todd

  2. d.p. says:

    Hi Nan,

    I thought of you today and Napa Valley Writers Conference, as the latter is referenced in my Acknowledgments. The publisher sent Elements to the printer today. I hope I get to see you at AWP again this year and hope too that all is well. Best wishes, Deborah

  3. Goldberry Long says:

    I’ve been trying to find you! Will you email me??


  4. Pingback: Poem from Slate: Nan Cohen | The Jet Fuel Review Blog


    Ciao, are you the Nan Cohen I met while teaching at Audubon JHS? and visited me in Mola di Bari Italy?

    • nancohen says:

      Fernando, I’m afraid I am not the person you’re looking for. I have never been to Mola di Bari, nor to Audubon, for that matter! Good luck finding her.

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