Richard Tayson

Poet, Creative Nonfiction Writer

66 W. 12th Street 5th Floor
New York, NY 10011

Author's Bio

Richard Tayson is the author of the poetry books The World Underneath and The Apprentice of Fever, which won the Wick Poetry Prize. His poems have appeared widely in domestic and international journals and anthologies, including Pushcart Prize XXI, I Do / I Don’t:  Queers on Marriage, Best of Prairie Schooner, Jugular Defences:  An AIDS Anthology (England), Paris Review, Kenyon Review, and others.  His co-authored memoir, Look Up for Yes, became a bestseller in Germany. Recent essay publications include “the volcano sequence as Fragmentary, Postmodern (and Yes, Feminist) Text” in Everywoman Her Own Theology: On the Poetry of Alicia Suskin Ostriker and “Language Sideways:  The Poetry of Addiction” (  He recently completed a memoir, Gone Again:  My Odyssey Through Song, Addiction and Awakening.  Tayson has received two New York Foundation for the Arts fellowships, and teaches at the New School in New York.


Literary agent: 
Tom Miller of Liza Dawson and Associates

Publications & Prizes

Creative Nonfiction

“the volcano sequence as Fragmentary, Postmodern (and Yes, Feminist) Text” (The University of Michigan Press, 2018)
Look Up for Yes (Viking, 1998)
Gay and Lesbian Review


Flicker and Spark: A Contemporary Anthology of Queer Spoken Word and Poetry (Lowbrow Press, 2013)
My Diva: 65 Gay Men on the Women Who Inspire Them (University of Wisconsin Press, 2009)
The Next of Us Is About to Be Born: In Celebration of the Twenty-fifth Anniversary of the Wick Poetry Center (Kent State University Press, 2009)
Family Matters: Poems of Our Families (Bottom Dog Press, 2005)
I Do/I Don't: Queers on Marriage (Soft Skull Press, 2004)
Best of Prairie Schooner (University of Nebraska Press, 2001)
American Poetry: Next Generation (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2000)
The World in Us, Lesbian & Gay Poetry of the Next Wave (St. Martin's Press, 2000)
Things Shaped in Passing: More 'Poets for Life' (Persea, 1997)
Best of the Small Presses, XXI (Pushcart Press, 1996)
Divining Divas: 100 Gay Men on Their Muses (Lethe Press, 2012)
The World Underneath (Kent State University Press, 2008)
The Apprentice of Fever (Kent State University Press, 1998)
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Global City Review
Kenyon Review
Lambda Book Report
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Night Sun
Paris Review
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Prizes won: 

The Wick Poetry Prize (1997) Pushcart Prize (1996) New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship (2003) Chancellor’s Fellowship from the City University of New York (2006) DC Center for the LGBT Community’s Smoking Words Poetry Competition, 2nd place (2011) Prairie Schooner’s Edward Stanley and Bernice Slote awards (1997 & 2004)

Personal Favorites

Favorite authors: 
Rilke, William Blake, Mary Karr, Kenny Fries, Linda Gregg, Paul Monette, John Keats, Michael Klein, Michael Cunningham, Virginia Woolf, Toni Morrison, Ai, Annie Dillard, Marcel Proust, Diane Seuss, Roland Barthes, William S. Burroughs, James Baldwin, Jhumpa Lahiri, Brenda Hillman, Rita Dove, Dennis Cooper, Maggie Anderson, Joan Larkin, Alicia Ostriker, David Wojnarowicz, John Milton, Jean Genet, Emily Bronte, Ian McEwan
What I'm reading now: 
Under the Big Black Sun: A Personal History of L.A. Punk by eds. John Doe and Tom Desavia, Now Do You Know Where You Are by Dana Levin, Track Conditions by Michael Klein, George Michael: A Life by James Gavin, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard, Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Lightning Striking: Ten Transformative Moments in Rock and Roll by Lenny Kaye, Murder Ballads by Jane Springer

More Information

Gives readings: 
Travels for readings: 
Identifies as: 
Prefers to work with: 
Disability, LGBTQ
Fluent in: 
Born in: 
Victorville, CA
Raised in: 
Ventura, CA
Please note: All information in the Directory is provided by the listed writers or their representatives.
Last update: Jun 12, 2022