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Podcast by Degenerate Art

Host, Mick Parsons

Podcast by DegenerPodcast with Joe Milfordate Art

Host, Mick Parsons

George Eklund came to earth in May of 1952, first born child of George and Joan Hines Eklund of Queens, New York.  He attended the public schools on Long Island, graduating from Bay Shore High School in 1970.  Helping to support himself with jobs as landscaper, printer, census taker, dishwasher, and guitar instructor, he graduated from the University of Dubuque (Iowa) in 1974 with a degree in English Education.

Eklund taught high school English on Long Island from 1974—75. He then moved to New England and began seriously to write prose and poetry and to publish his first pieces in such journals as Street Magazine, The Providence Review, Sou’wester, New Voices, and Bitterroot.

In 1976 Eklund moved to Brooklyn Heights.  While working as a proofreader for a Wall Street law firm and substitute teacher for the Brooklyn public schools, Eklund gave his full concentration to poetry.  He studied with Pearl London at The New School and briefly with Carol Muske and Derek Walcott in Columbia University’s MFA program.  Leaving Columbia without the degree, Eklund spent 1979—81 writing and living in Guadalajara, Mexico and San Francisco before returning to New York.

He re-entered the teaching field upon his return to Iowa in 1982 with a high school English position for the Dubuque Schools.  He also published his first full length poetry collection, Gone West of Sunrise Highway (Bearstone Press) and won the Iowa Arts Council award in their state wide competition.

Eklund relocated to Iowa City when he got accepted to the Iowa Writers’ Workshop in 1987.  For the next two years he became immersed in the creative writing culture at Iowa and came under the influences of Marvin Bell, Gerald Stern, Eleanor Wilner, Ira Sadoff, Arthur Vogelsang, James Galvin and Jorie Grahm. He also studied translation with Daniel Weisbort. By the end of his two year residency, he graduated with the MFA and began to publish more extensively in such journals as Poet & Critic, Cream City Review, Windless Orchard, The Cincinnati Poetry Review, Poet Lore, The Bellingham Review, and The Louisville Review.

In 1989 Morehead State University in eastern Kentucky hired Eklund to teach writing and literature at both undergraduate and graduate levels. 


While engaged in a distinguished 27 year teaching vocation, he continued to place work in major journals, including The American Poetry Review, The Beloit Poetry Journal, Crazyhorse, Epoch, The Iowa Review, The Massachusetts Review, The New Ohio Review, Poetry Northwest, Sycamore Review, Willow Springs, and The North American Review.  Eklund was twice awarded Morehead State’s Distinguished Creative Production Award and was also named an Al Smith Fellow in Poetry by the Kentucky Arts Council.

Eklund helped pioneer Morehead State’s BFA program in Creative Writing and served as faculty sponsor of Inscape, the literary and arts journal, for over twenty years.  In 2015 he was elected president of the Kentucky State Poetry Society.  Throughout his teaching career, he has done extensive work as visiting writer in the public schools, bringing his distinct pedagogical approaches to students and faculty in-service programs.

Small presses have published Eklund’s chapbooks, including The Sorrow of the King (Whitefields Press, 1994); Assemblage Without Technique (Three-legged Cow Press, 2007); and Wanting to Be an Element (Finishing Line Press, 2012).

His full length volumes are The Island Blade (ABZ Press, 2011) and Each Breath I Cannot Hold (Wind Publications, 2011).  Eklund’s bi-lingual volume of poems, In the Arms of the Fog (En los brazos de la niebla) is forthcoming from Simiente Press of Morelos, Mexico.

Eklund has translated the work of contemporary Mexican poet Mario Bojorquez, publishing translations in The Rio Grande Review and The Merida Review.  His book reviews have appeared in the 2015 and 2016 issues of Appalachian Journal.

Eklund is married to the painter and poet Laura Eklund and is father to seven children. Together they have traveled to Europe and Mexico, showing Laura’s paintings and pursuing translation projects. George Eklund has been named Professor Emeritus by Morehead State University and is currently involved in assembling a new book of poems as well as reading, writing and translating from Spanish.

Wanting to be an Element

My Books

Each Breath I Cannot Hold

The Island Blade

Book signings & Events
Book Signing
Jul 03, 2023, 7:00 PM
The Little Book Store,
500 Terry A Francois Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94158, USA

Reading at University of Dubuque

             September 24, 2014





                Degenerate Art Podcast

                  by Host Mick Parsons.


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