Noah Eli Gordon was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and grew up in both Florida and Ohio. He attended Bunker Hill Community College and later received a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Fine Arts in poetry from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Gordon is well-known for his playful, intertextual poetry, and he has collaborated with many other artists multiple times.
I’m no longer much of a citizen of the republic of poetry but I have so much affection for the brilliant, complex, generous people who circulate there. Noah Eli Gordon was perhaps the most generous, most giving, most force-of-nature among them. It’s a shock to know he’s gone.
Some of his books are The Frequencies (2003), The Area of Sound Called the Subtone (2004), which won the Sawtooth Poetry Prize, Inbox (2006), Novel Pictorial Noise (2007), chosen by John Ashbery to be included in the National Poetry Series, and winner of a San Francisco State Poetry Center Book Award. Other books by Gordon include A Fiddle Pulled from the Throat of a Sparrow (2007), The Source (2011), The Year of the Rooster (2013), and The Word Kingdom in the Word Kingdom (2015).
Not only has Gordon published many reviews, poems, and essays, he has also worked with other writers on several book-length projects. One of his joint works is Figures for a Darkroom Voice, a book of poetry that he wrote with the poet Joshua Marie Wilkinson. Gordon is an associate professor at the University of Colorado Boulder, where he also runs Subito Press. He currently resides in Denver.
He has written many books in the last few years, including Is That the Sound of a Piano Coming from Several Houses Down? (Solid Objects, 2018), The Word Kingdom in the Word Kingdom (Brooklyn Arts Press, 2015), The Year of the Rooster (Ahsahta Press, 2013), The Source (Futurepoem Books, 2011), Novel Pictorial Noise (Harper Perennial, 2007), and Inbox (BlazeVOX Books, 2006).
His work has also been featured in many journals and anthologies, such as Bookforum, Seneca Review, Boston Review, Fence, Hambone, Postmodern American Poetry (W. W. Norton & Company, 2013). In 2007, Gordon was interviewed by Rain Taxi, a magazine for which he did a column on chapbook reviews. That year, critic Michael Robbins awarded his essay Ripostes first place in Poetry Magazine. In his essay, Robbins called Gordon’s work dead, non-responsive, flatlined, and toe-tagged. Another critic, Stephanie Burt from The Nation, noted that Gordon’s poetry is delightful and reacting to big systems like capitalism (the results and failures of which seem impossible to avoid).
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