Jeffrey Franklin is a poet, scholar, editor, and teacher. His poetry collections are Where We Lay Down (2021, Kelsay Books) and For the Lost Boys (2006, Ghost Road Press). His poems have appeared in many literary journals, including Arts & Letters, Crab Orchard Review, Hudson Review, Measure, New England Review, Rattle, Shenandoah, Southern Humanities Review, and Southern Poetry Review. A poetry manuscript of his received the Robert H. Winner Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, and his poetry has appeared in Best American Poetry. Since 2000 he has served as the poetry editor for the North Carolina Literary Review, selecting the finalists for the annual James Applewhite Poetry Prize.
Dr. Franklin’s scholarly books are: Spirit Matters: Occult Beliefs, Alternative Religious, and the Crisis of Faith in Victorian Britain (2018, Cornell University Press), The Lotus and the Lion: Buddhism and the British Empire (2008, Cornell University Press), and Serious Play: The Cultural Form of the Nineteenth-Century Realist Novel (1999). Representative essays include “Contexts of Reception: The Lotus Sūtra in Nineteenth-Century Europe and What They Overlooked” in Buddhist-Christian Studies, “Existential Nihilism and the Nineteenth-Century Nirvana Debate: Jean-Paul Sartre Meets Nagarjuna” in Religion and Literature, and “The Influences of Buddhism and Comparative Religion on Matthew Arnold” in Literature Compass.
He grew up on Signal Mountain and in Chattanooga, TN, where he graduated from The Baylor School. He completed an MS at Georgia Tech and an MFA and PhD at the University of Florida. He and his wife Judy Lucas have lived in Washington, DC, and then in Austinmer, Australia, working in both places as a science and technology policy analyst for the federal governments; Gainesville, FL, where he was a graduate student and literature teacher; Greenville, NC, where he was an English professor at East Carolina University; and, since 2000, in Denver, CO, where he works as a professor of English at the University of Colorado Denver. Having taught poetry writing and history of poetry, his teaching now focuses on Victorian literature, history of the English novel, literary theory, and critical writing.
Jeff especially enjoys spending time with his wife, children, and grandchildren, often outdoors, hiking, camping, sailing, kayaking, skiing, and motorcycle trekking. He spends good time reading novels and poetry aloud to Judy as she voluminously knits. He trained through the Engaged Mindfulness Institute to be a certified mindfulness instructor in order to offer workshops in prisons, but that’s on hold until COVID abates. He now offers meditation classes to university students, faculty, and staff. He’s been a practicing Buddhist in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh for over 20 years and is a member of the Eyes of Compassion Sangha in Denver and the Insight Meditation Community of Colorado.