Born in 1951, David Jauss grew up in Montevideo, Minnesota, and received a B.A. from Southwest State University, an M.A. from Syracuse University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa. Since 1980 he has taught creative writing at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Improvising Rivers is his first volume of poetry.
“David Jauss writes poems as intense as prayers. His focus on memento mori, however, leads him not to some afterlife but more deeply into this one, including imaginative engagement with the lives of others—Flaubert, Kafka, jazz musicians, a Vietnam vet. That the poet’s love for the world and its sensory pleasures behooves him to perfect his art, whose delights of form and language shine from every page, is the ultimate joy of Improvising Rivers. David Jauss can’t get over the gift of his existence, and readers won’t be able to get over the gift of his book.” –Philip Dacey
“The unobtrusive technical mastery and almost classical precision of his style would alone be enough to make David Jauss’s collection a notable one. But there is a unique depth and resonance in Jauss’s work which is the real source of his accomplishment. Like Flaubert, Chekhov, and the jazz musicians who figure as tutelary spirits in his collection, Jauss sees the exercise of style as a form of pilgrimage to the human heart. And he knows the heart in all of its intricacies, misery, and splendor. It is hardly the fashion anymore to label a book as noble—but no other word will suffice.” –David Wojahn