Jeff Gundy

"We start and end in mystery…and what's in between is mostly none too sensical," says Jeff Gundy, an accomplished poet, writer, and professor of English. Gundy's work reveals his attempt at exploring the mystery of birth, death, and everything in between.

Gundy was born in a rural community near Flanagan, Illinois, on August 7, 1952. The son of farmers, Gundy grew up in what he describes as “prairie country." Although Gundy has moved away from his Illinois hometown, he claims that this will always be his spiritual and cognitive home, and much of his writing refers to his upbringing and roots in the rural Midwest. 

In 1975, Gundy received his BA in English from Goshen College. By this time he had already compiled two collections of poems, Back Home in Babylon: Poems (1974) and Johnny America Takes on Mother Nature (1975), published by Goshen’s Pinchpenny Press. After receiving his BA, Gundy went on to do graduate work at Indiana University, Bloomington. He eventually acquired an MA in creative writing and a PhD in American literature.

Since the completion of his PhD, Gundy has focused his professional energies on his writings and his teaching career. Gundy has held teaching positions at a number of institutions including Indiana University in Bloomington, Goshen College, Hesston College, and Bluffton University. He is currently a professor of English at Bluffton, where he has been since 1984. Along with teaching, Gundy has continued publishing poetry, essays, and creative nonfiction, as well as doing readings and poetry workshops and serving as an organizer for the "Mennonite/s Writing" conferences. 

Gundy's recent poetic publications include Rhapsody with Dark Matter (2000) and Deerflies (2004), which won the 2005 Nancy Dasher Award from the College English Association of Ohio for the best creative writing book of the year. A new book, Spoken among the Trees, is scheduled to come out in the fall of 2007. His important prose works include A Community of Memory: My Days with George and Clara (1995), Scattering Point: The World in a Mennonite Eye (2003), and Walker in the Fog: On Mennonite Writing (2005). Gundy's poetry and essays have appeared in numerous publications including Poet Lore, Shenandoah, Poetry NorthwestSpoon River Quarterly, Creative Nonfiction, Image, Cincinnati Poetry Review, Indiana Review, Artful Dodge, Mid-American Review, and Mennonite Quarterly Review.

Gundy and his wife Marlyce have three sons: Nathan, Ben, and Joel. When he is not writing, working, or spending time with his family, Gundy likes to play guitar and take part in physical activities.

Ezra Schrock and Anita Hooley

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