August Kleinzahler

Berlin Prize Fellow - Class of Fall 2000

Poet

American Academy Project: Re-imagining the Map of the World: the 15th Century Cartographer/Illuminator in the Age of Information
Current Location: California

Biography

August Kleinzahler was born in Jersey City, New Jersey. He attended the University of Wisconsin as an East Asian Studies major, dropped out, and eventually finished a degree as an English major at the University of Victoria in British Columbia. For the past 20 years he has lived in San Francisco.

Kleinzahler's work experience has included driving a cab, lumberjacking, locksmithing, and working in the Alaska State Museum, designing learning kits for native children. More recently, he has taught writing at Brown University, the University of California at Berkeley, and the Iowa Writers' Workshop, as well as to homeless veterans in the Bay Area. He has been widely published in various magazines and journals and is author of Earthquake Weather, Storm Over Hackensack, Red Sauce, Whisky and Snow, and Green Sees Things in Waves.

Kleinzahler has received various awards and fellowships, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Lila Acheson Wallace/Reader's Digest Award for Poetry, and an Award in Literature from the Academy of American Poets. 

Photo credit: Star Black

American Academy Project

Re-imagining the Map of the World: the 15th Century Cartographer/Illuminator in the Age of Information

During his fellowship, Kleinzahler worked on a project entitled "Re-imagining the Map of the World: the 15th Century Cartographer / Illuminator in the Age of Information." The project involved a series of meditations on how one draws and colors the world in one's imagination, focusing in particular on the coloring of maps as well as other design and graphic aspects from the 15th to early-16th centuries that aimed to reconfigure in the world and collapse time and distance.