He was born in Brooklyn New York in 1955, and published his first literary work in 1993, with the release of Every Room We Ever Slept In, which became a New York Public Library Notable Book. He went on to author Among Women and Uncertain Hours, he also edited numerous anthologies, including The Poem That Changed America: "Howl" Fifty Years Later and The Poem I Turn To: Actors and Directors Present Poetry That Inspires Them. In addition to founding and directing the National Writer's Voice, Shinder also served as director of the Sundance Institute Writing Program, as a teacher in the graduate writing program at Bennington College, as a graduate teacher at New School University, and was a Poet Laureate of Provincetown. Shinder also earned a Literature Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts in 2007.
Shinder died in April 2008. He had non-Hodgkins lymphoma and leukemia. “Cancer is a tremendous opportunity,” he said, philosophically, “to have your face pressed right up against the glass of your mortality.” In his brief poem “Company,” he writes:
I’ve been avoiding my illness
because I’m afraid
I will die and when I do,
I’ll end up alone again.
Full-length Poetry Collections
- Stupid Hope (Graywolf Press, 2009)
- Among Women (Graywolf Press, 2001)
- Every Room We Ever Slept In(Sheep Meadow Press, 1993)
- Uncertain Hours (Arrowsmith Press, 2006)
- POEM: The New Yorker > Poetry > Living by Jason Shinder > October 1, 2007
- ARTICLE: The New York Times > Arts > Jason Shinder, 52, Poet and Founder of Arts Program, Dies > by Margalit Fox > May 3, 2008
- POEM: Academy of American Poets > Jason Shinder > The One Secret That Has Carried
- REVIEW: The Los Angeles Times > Book Review by David L. Ulin of Stupid Hope by Jason Shinder > August 2, 2009