About Ron

Ron Koertge grew up in an agricultural area in an old mining town in Illinois, just across the Mississippi from St. Louis, Missouri. He received a BA from the University of Illinois and an MA from the University of Arizona.

A prolific writer, Ron began publishing poetry in the sixties and seventies in such seminal magazines as Kayak, Poetry Now, and The Wormwood Review. He has published more than twenty books of poetry so far, and his poems continue to appear in independent poetry journals. His recent books include Yellow Moving Van (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2018), Olympusville (Red Hen Press, 2018), and Vampire Planet (Red Hen Press, 2016).

Ron is currently the Poet Laureate of South Pasadena, California.

In 2018 a film based on Ron’s prose poem “Negative Space,” created by Ru Kuwahata and Max Porter, was nominated for an Academy Award in the category Best Animated Short Film.

Ron was a faculty member for more than 35 years at Pasadena City College. He also taught in the MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults program at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Ron’s poems have appeared in two Best American Poetry anthologies (1999 and 2005) and he won a Pushcart Prize in 2017. He is the recipient of grants from the National Endowment For the Arts and the California Arts Council.

Ron is also the author of many celebrated novels for young adults, including Coaltown Jesus, Stoner & Spaz, and Shakespeare Bats Cleanup.

Ron and his wife live in Pasadena, California, in a house featured in one of the most famous horror movies of all time.