Jon Thiem is a writer, researcher, and professor emeritus of English and Comparative Literature at Colorado State University. He has lived in Colorado since 1979.
Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1946, Thiem grew up in southern Delaware, in the small town of Seaford. He graduated from Dickinson College in Pennsylvania, after having spent a year of study in Italy. He then taught two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ghana, West Africa, where he was known as ‘Kofi.’ In 1975, he received his doctorate in Comparative Literature from Indiana University.
Thiem’s academic research has focused on two areas: a. the theme of book destruction and anti-intellectualism in world literature; and b. myths of the epigone (translator, biographer, reader) in postmodern fiction. His essays have appeared in Comparative Literature, The Journal of the History of Ideas, Cadmos, Translation and Literature, Sincronie, and The Dictionary of Literary Themes. His books include Lorenzo de’ Medici: Selected Poems and Prose (Penn State Press, 1991), short-listed for the Columbia Translation Center Prize; and Real Life: Ten Stories of Aging (University Press of Colorado, 1994), an anthology of modern fiction edited in collaboration with philosopher Patrick McKee.
With Ralph Slotten and Bettie Anne Doebler, he has published two volumes of poetry: Book of the Mermaid (Sutter House, 2001), and Nine Waves (Sutter House, 2003).
Rabbit Creek Country: Three Ranching Lives in the Heart of the Mountain West is a work of non-fiction written in collaboration with his research assistant Deborah Dimon. It examines the lives of three early twentieth-century settlers in the Northern Colorado mountains and their intimate relation to the land. The book was published in 2008 by University of New Mexico Press. Rabbit Creek Country was a finalist for the 2009 Colorado Book Award in biography.
His latest book is Letters from Ghana 1968-1970, published as an imprint of Peace Corps Worldwide in 2013. To learn more, visit lettersfromghana.weebly.com.
Jon Thiem is currently writing a book-length biography of Rudolph Thiem (1857-1928), the German American designer and sculptor, active in Berlin, New Orleans and Hamilton, Ohio. Visit the website at rudolphthiem.weebly.com.
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