Jill Alexander Essbaum: Biography

Jill Alexander Essbaum

Jill Alexander Essbaum is an American author who was born in Texas in 1971. As well as being a successful novelist, Essbaum is also a poet and a professor.

Essbaum’s first poetry collection, Heaven, was published in 2000. She has since written 3 more collections of poetry and has also compiled 2 anthologies of other people’s works. Her poetry has been heavily influenced by world-famous writers such as Sylvia Plath, Simon Armitage and Edna St. Vincent Millay. Much of her poetry is concerned with sexuality and female empowerment combined with thoughts of divinity. This combination of religion and sexual expression in her work makes her stand out from many of her contemporaries.

Essbaum’s first novel was published in 2015 by Random House. It is entitled Hausfrau and became a New York Times Bestseller after its publication. The San Francisco Chronicle, The Huffington Post and Shelf Awareness all named it as one of their Books of the Year. The novel tells the story of Anna, an American housewife in her late thirties, who struggles to keep herself together in her mundane but comfortable family life.

Jill Alexander Essbaum has won several awards during her writing career, including the Bakeless Prize in 1999 which she was given in recognition of her debut collection of poems: Heaven. She has also been given grants by the National Endowment for the Arts on two different occasions. Essbaum is currently employed as a teacher at the University of California on the Masters of Creative Writing program for graduates. She continues to write in her spare time.