Photo by Mike Hazard, permission granted for any use.

Photo by Vance Gellert, permission granted for any use.

Photo by Larry Risser, permission granted for any use.


James P. Lenfestey

After a career in academia, advertising and journalism as an editorial writer at the Minneapolis StarTribune, where he won several Page One awards for excellence, Jame P. Lenfestey has published poetry, reviews and articles, plus a book of personal essays, THE URBAN COYOTE: HOWLINGS ON FAMILY, COMMUNITY AND THE SEARCH FOR PEACE AND QUIET (Nodin Press, 2000).

He has published four poetry collections, including A CARTLOAD OF SCROLLS: 100 POEMS IN THE MANNER OF T'ANG DYNASTY POET HAN-SHAN (Holy Cow! Press, 2006) and INTO THE GOODHUE COUNTY JAIL: POEMS TO FREE PRISONERS (Red Dragonfly Press, 2008).

He edited the popular poetry anthology LOW DOWN AND COMING ON; A FEAST OF DELICIOUS AND DANGEROUS POEMS ABOUT PIGS (Red Dragonfly Press, 2010) and a co-edited a collection of essays on the life and career of Robert Bly, ROBERT BLY IN THIS WORLD (University of Minnesota Press, 2011).

Lenfestey chairs the Literary Witnesses poetry program in Minneapolis and teaches poetry every summer on Mackinac Island, Michigan.

He is available as a speaker for poetry discussions in and out of jails and prisons, though he prefers the latter.

He lives in Minneapolis with his wife, the political writer Susan Lenfestey. They have four children and six grandchildren. His website is

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James P. Lenfestey — Publications & Writings