Brian Clements is the author or editor of 15 print and digital collections of poetry, including anthologies such as An Introduction to the Prose Poem, volumes of poetry from Quale Press, Texas Review Press, and Meritage Press, and innovative online projects.
Brian earned the PhD from Binghamton University in 1993 and, since then, has taught writing and literature at Binghamton, Broome Community College, University of Texas at Dallas, University of North Texas, Southern Methodist University (his alma mater), and Western Connecticut State University, where he was the founding Coordinator of the innovative MFA in Creative and Professional Writing.
In Dallas during the 90s, he helped to found the non-profit literary center The Writer’s Garret and served as its inaugural Assistant Director before working for 6 years in Technical Communications for clients such as Texas Instruments, Kodak Health Imaging, and smaller startup companies. He also founded and edited the small press Firewheel Editions, which published the acclaimed journal Sentence: a Journal of Prose Poetics as well as books and chapbooks by Denise Duhamel, Neil de la Flor and Maureen Seaton, Catherine Sasanov, Rauan Klassnik, and others.
In December 2012, Brian’s wife worked as a teacher at Sandy Hook School–which his son, Jacob, a young jazz musician, and his daughter, Sarah, both attended–where twenty children and six educators were murdered by an unstable individual with access to massive weaponry. Since then, Brian, his wife Abbey, and his daughter Sarah have been active in the movement to reduce gun violence by fighting for a better system of background checks for all gun purchases, better tracking of weapon ownership, holding those responsible for negligent gun fatalities and injuries accountable, getting assault weaponry and military ammunition off of the consumer market, and releasing the stranglehold that the National Rifle Association holds on so many national office holders.
To those ends, Brian has collaborated on a new project with co-editors Alexandra Teague, Dean Rader, and publisher Beacon Press: Bullets into Bells: Poets and Citizens Respond to Gun Violence. This anthology of poems by major poets, including 5 former US Poets Laureate, includes responses to each poem by gun violence survivors, activists, and political/religious/community leaders, including Samaria Rice (mother of Tamir), Lucy McBath (mother of Jordan Davis), Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Jody Williams, and Senator Chris Murphy. The goal of this project is to bring audiences around the country into conversation about our gun violence epidemic and to discuss ways that individual citizens can help make change. In the first half of 2018, the editors will conduct a series of events–conversations, readings, performances–that will visit each of the United States to contribute to those conversations.
Brian continues to serve as Professor of Writing, Linguistics, and Creative Process at Western Connecticut State University and is available for readings, events, and freelance editing and writing projects.