John Yau studied at Bard College (BA, 1972) and Brooklyn College (MFA, 1977). He has published books of poetry, fiction, and criticism, contributed to many art cataloguesand monographs, and is the publisher of Black Square Editions. His books include Exhibits (Letter Machine Editions, 2010); Borrowed Love Poems (Penguin, 2002); Forbidden Entries (Black Sparrow Press, 1996); Berlin Diptychon (Timken, 1995); Edificio Sayonara (Black Sparrow Press, 1992); Corpse and Mirror (Holt Rinehart,1983), which was a National Poetry Series book selected by John Ashbery; and Crossing Canal Street (Bellevue Press, 1976). He has a book of poetry, Further Adventures in Monochrome, forthcoming from Copper Canyon Press.
He has received numerous awards including the Lavan Award from the Academy of American Poets, the American Poetry Review Jerome Shestack Award, and a three New York Foundation for the Arts Awards. He is also the recipient of a 1977 National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, two Ingram-Merrill Foundation Fellowships, and grants from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation.
Yau’s books of criticism include In the Realm of Appearances: The Art of Andy Warhol (Ecco, 1993), A Thing Among Things: The Art of Jasper Johns (D.A.P., 1997), andThe Passionate Spectator: Essays on Art and Poetry (University of Michigan Press, 2006). He edited Fetish (Four Walls Eight Windows, 1998), a fiction anthology. He has collaborated with numerous artists on artist’s books, most recently Squeak Carnwath, Max Gimblett, Leiko Ikemura, Thomas Nozkowski, Norbert Prangenberg and Hanns Schimansky.
He was a distinguished visiting critic at the Pratt Institute Graduate School of Art,Maryland Institute College of Art and School of Visual Arts in the late 1980s. In 1992, hewas a visiting poet at Brown University and in 1994 and 1995, was a visiting professor atUniversity of California, Berkeley. He was also the Ahmanson Curatorial Fellow at theMuseum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. Yau was the Arts editor of The BrooklynRail from March 2004 to October 2011, publishing more than one hundred reviews,essays, and interviews. He is an Associate Professor at Mason Gross School of the Arts(Rutgers University).