Have You Met Rutgers-Newark?

Recipient of a 2005 Whiting Writers Award for fiction and poetry

John Keene joined Rutgers-Newark in 2012 and is jointly appointed to the Department of African American and African Studies, Department of English, and MFA in Creative Writing Program. He is affiliated with the Program in Women’s and Gender Studies.

A novelist, poet, essayist, and translator, Keene's newst work, Counternarratives (New Directions, 2015) has received outstanding reviews  and has been named to several “best books” lists.

Publishers Weekly

The Wall Street Journal



New York Magazine’s “Vulture” – “Best Books of 2015 (So Far)”

Time Out New York – “15 Books You Should Read This Summer”

Vanity Fair -- “Spring Reads for Parks and Picnics”

Keene also is the author of the award-winning novel Annotations (New Directions, 1995) as well as the poetry collection Seismosis (1913 Press, 2006), on which he collaborated with artist Christopher Stackhouse. Keene received a 2005 Whiting Writers Award for fiction and poetry and has had his work published in a wide array of journals, including African-American Review, AGNI, Encyclopedia, Gay and Lesbian Review, Hambone, Indiana Review, Kenyon Review, Mandorla, Ploughshares, and Public Space.

Keene is a longtime member of the Dark Room Writers Collective, a community of black writers founded in Boston in 1987, and a graduate fellow of Cave Canem, an organization established in 1997 and headquartered in Brooklyn, New York, committed to supporting Black poetry from across the African Diaspora. Keene served on the inaugural juries for the Cave Canem Second Book Prize and the Drinking Gourd Chapbook Poetry Prize.

Keene received his bachelor’s degree from Harvard College and his master of fine arts degree from New York University. Before joining Rutgers, he taught at Brown University, Northwestern University and other institutions.