Chase Twichell was born in 1950 in New Haven, Connecticut, and educated at Trinity College (Hartford) and the University of Iowa. She lives in the Keene Valley in the Adirondacks, where she spent many summers and vacations during her childhood and where her father's family had gone for many generations. The two greatest influences on her life and work have been this early intimacy with wilderness followed by her years as a Zen Buddhist student of John Daido Loori at Zen Mountain Monastery in the Catskills.
Her poetry books include Northern Spy (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1981), The Odds (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1986), Perdido (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, USA, 1991; Faber & Faber, UK, 1992, Poetry Book Society Choice), The Ghost of Eden (Ontario Review Press, USA, 1995; Faber & Faber, UK, 1996, Poetry Book Society Recommendation), The Snow Watcher (Ontario Review Press, USA, 1998; Bloodaxe Books, UK, 1999); Dog Language (Copper Canyon Press, USA, 2005; Bloodaxe Books, UK, 2006, Poetry Book Society Recommendation); and Horses Where the Answers Should Have Been: New & Selected Poems (Copper Canyon Press, USA, 2010; Bloodaxe Books, UK, 2010). The Lover of God (by Rabindranath Tagore, co-translated with Tony K. Stewart) was published by Copper Canyon Press in 2003. She also co-edited The Practice of Poetry: Writing Exercises from Poets Who Teach with Robin Behn (HarperCollins, 1992).
She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Artists Foundation, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, and a Literature Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 1997 she won the Alice Fay DiCastagnola Award from the Poetry Society of America for The Snow Watcher. She received a Smart Family Foundation Award in 2004.
From 1976 to 1984 she worked at Pennyroyal Press, and from 1986 to 1988 she co-edited the Alabama Poetry Series, published by University of Alabama Press. After teaching for many years (at Hampshire College, the University of Alabama, Goddard College, Warren Wilson College, and Princeton University), she resigned in 1999 to start Ausable Press, a non-profit, independent literary press that she operated until it was acquired by Copper Canyon Press in 2009.
Books by Chase Twichell