Award-winning writer Jensen Beach comes from the English Department at the University of Illinois, where he has taught courses in composition, literature, literary editing and fiction writing. He joined JSC’s Department of Writing & Literature as assistant professor with a focus on fiction writing.
He has published numerous works of fiction and nonfiction, including the short story collection For Out of the Heart Proceed (Dzanc Books and Dark Sky Books) and the forthcoming Swallowed by the Cold (Graywolf Press). He is working on a novel, Slow to Anger, set in 1960s West Africa during the Nigeria-Biafra conflict.
His stories and reviews have appeared in American Short Fiction (web), Cincinnati Review, Fifty-Two Stories, Kenyon Review Online, Ninth Letter, Sou’wester and Witness, among others.
Jensen has an M.F.A. in fiction from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and an M.A. in English from Stockholm University.
On another note: He really was named for a place in Florida. As he told Ninth Letter, an arts and literary project produced by the Graduate Creative Writing Program and School of Art & Design at the University of Illinois: “I am a town. And I have been to me. This past May I was in Jensen Beach. I took pictures of signs and restaurant menus. I told everyone I came across what my name was. Most people responded very strangely to this. A woman at a gift shop where I was buying some shirts with my name on it asked if I was from Jensen Beach; and I thought about this for a second. How strange to be named after the place where you are from. I suppose this must happen but it seems strange. And it seems an odd first thing to ask a person when told he shares a name with the city you are both currently in.”