Charles Jensen

As a writer, I am dedicated to innovating forms for stories. My primary discipline is poetry, where I use a big-tent approach to the shapes and containers for my work, whether adapting the form of a reading comprehension exam to invite direct dialogue with my reader, to rehabilitating traditional forms to do contemporary work. I also write fiction and nonfiction, typically with a nontraditional or innovative approach.

Charles Jensen (he/him) is the author of the poetry collection Nanopedia and six chapbooks of poems. His third collection, Instructions Between Takeoff and Landing, was published by the University of Akron Press in 2022. He received the 2020 Outwrite Nonfiction Chapbook Award for Cross-Cutting, a diptych of essays that hybridize memoir and film criticism. The City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs designated him a 2019-2020 Cultural Trailblazer, and he is the recipient of the 2018 Zócalo Poetry Prize, a Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Prize, the 2007 Frank O’Hara Chapbook Award, and an Artist’s Project Grant from the Arizona Commission on the Arts. His poetry has appeared in American Poetry Review, Crab Orchard Review, The Journal, New England Review, and Prairie Schooner, and essays have appeared in 45th Parallel, American Literary Review, and The Florida Review. He founded the online poetry magazine LOCUSPOINT, which explored creative work on a city-by-city basis. He hosts The Write Process, a podcast in which one writer tells the story of crafting one work from concept to completion, and with Jovonnie Anaya co-hosts You Wanna Be on Top?, an episode-by-episode retrospective of America’s Next Top Model. He lives in Los Angeles and directs the Writers’ Program at UCLA Extension.


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Contact Information

Charles Jensen

Artist Links








Artist Work

Poem in Which Words Have Been Left Out (2012)
A poem using an erasure technique on the statements of the Miranda Rights

Link to Poem in Which Words Have Been Left Out

Tucson (2018)
"Tucson," winner of the 2018 Zocalo Poetry Prize, along with an interview

Link to Tucson

Poems from A Dozen Nothing (2021)
A portfolio of 6 recent poems

Link to Poems from A Dozen Nothing