About Bill Mohr

Bill Mohr is a professor in the Department of English at California State University, Long Beach. He has a Ph.D. in Literature from the University of California, San Diego, and has taught at CSU Long Beach since 2006. In addition to being an internationally recognized poet, Mohr has worked as an editor and publisher (Momentum Press, 1974-1988) and literary scholar and historian. His poems, prose poems and creative prose have appeared in dozens of magazines in the past 40 years, including 5 AM, Antioch Review, Beyond Baroque, Blue Collar Review, Blue Mesa Review, Caliban (On-line), KYSO (Knock Your Socks Off) Miramar, ONTHEBUS, OR, Santa Monica Review, Skidrow Penthouse, Solo Nolo, Sonora Review, Spot, Upstreet, Wormwood Review, and ZYZZYVA. His poems have also appeared in a dozen anthologies, including all three editions of Charles Harper Webb’s Stand Up Poetry (1989, 1992; 2002); Suzanne Lummis’s Grand Passion and Wide Awake; and Coiled Serpent, from Tia Chuca Press. Mohr is one of less than a half-dozen Los Angeles-based poets to have appeared in all editions of those anthologies.

Mohr’s volumes of poetry include Hidden Proofs (1982); Penetralia (1984); Bittersweet Kaleidscope (2006); and a bilingual volume published in Mexico, Pruebas Ocultas (Bonobos Editores, 2015). A CD and cassette release of spoken word was produced by Harvey Robert Kubernik and released by New Alliance Records in 1993. In October, 2018, What Books/Glass Table Collective will publish a new collection of his poems, The Headwaters of Nirvana / Los Manantiales del Nirvana. Mohr has given readings of his poetry in New York City, San Francisco, and Mexico City, as well as Los Angeles; he was a featured poet at the Idyllwild Poetry Festival five times. His poems have been translated into Croatian, Italian, and Japanese, in addition to Spanish.

Mohr’s honors include an appointment as a visiting scholar at the Getty Research Institute in 1996, during which he began his research for his literary history of Los Angeles poetry, Holdouts: The Los Angeles Poetry Renaissance 1948-1992. Published by the University of Iowa Press in 2011, Holdouts received a half-dozen enthusiastic reviews, and has gone into a second printing. Mohr’s critical essays have appeared in such magazines as the William Carlos Williams Review and the Journal of Beat Studies. His book reviews of contemporary poets can be found in Chicago Review, KYSO, Poetry Flash, Or, New Review of Literature, The Hungry Mind Review, Los Angeles Times, and Beyond Baroque New.

Mohr’s first editorial appointment was as poetry editor of the first two issues (1972-1973) of Bachy magazine, published by Papa Bach Bookstore. From 1974 to 1988, Mohr was the editor and publisher of Momentum Press, which issued books by Jim Krusoe, Alicia Ostriker, Kate Braverman, Leland Hickman, Len Roberts, James Moore, Joseph Hansen, Holly Prado, Harry Northup, Deena Metzler, Michael C. Ford, and many other poets. Its archives can be found in the Special Collections of Geisel Library at UCSD. His most recent anthology of poetry is Cross-Strokes: Poetry between Los Angeles and San Francisco, which he co-edited with Neeli Cherkovski. In 2014, he was given the George Drury Smith Award by Beyond Baroque for his services to poetry. Other winners of this award include David St. John, Wanda Coleman, Eloise Klein Healy, Suzanne Lummis, Holly Prado, and Paul Vangelisti. His blog address is billmohrpoet.com.

Prior to his academic career, Mohr worked as a blueprint machine operator and full- and part-time typesetter for well over 15 years. He was also very active during this period in the California Poets-in-the-Schools program and was an artist-in-residence for both the California Arts Council and the Cultural Affairs Department of the City of Los Angeles. Along with the poet Max Benavidez, he also led writing workshops in prisons in Chino, California, for L.A. Theater Works.