About & Contact


Recent Experience

Gonzaga College High School
Department of English
Washington, D.C.

23rd Poet-in-Residence
Howard County Poetry & Literature Society
Howard County, Maryland
2014-2015 Academic Year

American University
College Writing Program
Washington, D.C.

Folger Shakespeare Library
Interim, Poetry & Lectures Coordinator
Washington, D.C.

Carroll High School
Writing Center, Founder & Director
Washington, D.C.


Sitting on the stoop at Langston Hughes’ house, Harlem, NYC, June 2016


My first book of poems, Meeting Bone Man, (2012) was published by Main Street Rag Publishing and my second, Gospel of Dust (2013) was also published by Main Street Rag Publishing. My third collection, Ache, (2017) was published by Sibling Rivalry Press. Raising King, my fourth collection of poems, will be published by Willow Books on September 15, 2020. Raising King explores the life and work of Martin Luther King, Jr. through poems responding to his writing in Stride Toward Freedom, Why We Can’t Wait, and Where do We Go from Here?

I’m grateful that my poetry has been published in many places, including The Southern Quarterly,  The Los Angeles Times, Xavier Review, Southern Quarterly, Arkansas Review, Valley Voices, and in a wide variety of anthologies, including What Saves Us: Poems of Empathy and Outrage in the Age of Trump, The Night’s Magician: Poems about the Moon, Collective Brightness: LGBTIQ Poets on Faith Religion and Spirituality, Poetic Voices Without Borders 1 and 2, Full Moon on K StreetCome Together-Imagine Peace, Edited by Phil Metres, Ann and Larry Smith. My poems have also appeared in many journals including Poet Lore, Tidal Basin Review, Drumvoices Revue, Ibbetson Street, Word as Bond, Words. Beats. Life: The Global Journal of Hip Hop Culture, and Sojourners.



Contact: JosephRoss20017@gmail.com


Joseph Ross is the author of four books of poetry: Raising King (forthcoming in 2020), Ache (2017), Gospel of Dust (2013), and Meeting Bone Man (2012). His poetry has appeared in a wide variety of publications including The Los Angeles Times, The Southern Quarterly, Xavier Review, Poet Lore, Tidal Basin Review, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, and Sojourners. His work appears in many anthologies including Collective Brightness, Poetic Voices without Borders 1 and 2, Full Moon on K Street, and Come Together; Imagine Peace. He served as the 23rd Poet-in-Residence for the Howard County Poetry and Literature Society, just outside Washington, D.C. He is a six-time Pushcart Prize nominee and his poem “If Mamie Till Was the Mother of God” won the 2012 Pratt Library/Little Patuxent Review Poetry Prize.


I was born in Pomona, California, just outside of Los Angeles. After studying English at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, I taught high school in Southern California and then went on to receive an M.Div. at the University of Notre Dame. I taught in Notre Dame’s Freshmen Writing Program before moving to Washington, D.C. in 2000, where I founded the Writing Center at Carroll High School, taught at American University, and currently teach in the Department of English at Gonzaga College High School. (Photo Credit above: J. Bigwood, at left: an unnamed US Postal Service Lettercarrier)

An early member of D.C. Poets Against the War, I co-edited Cut Loose The Body: An Anthology of Poems on Torture and Fernando Botero’s Abu Ghraib. My co-editor on this project was poet and writer Rose Marie Berger.

I have read around the country including at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. Also at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, the Folger Shakespeare Library, the Pratt Library in Baltimore, Maryland, Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Indiana, the University of Delaware, D.G. Wills Bookstore in La Jolla, California, The Blackbird Poetry Festival at Howard Community College in Maryland, and Dog Star Books in Reading, Pennsylvania. I’ve participated in several Visiting Writers’ Series including those at the University of Portland in Oregon and St. Mary’s College of Maryland.

I’m grateful to the editors of Poet LoreTidal Basin Review, Little Patuxent Review, Fledgling Rag and Sligo who nominated my poems for Pushcart Prizes. Their encouragement and confidence means a great deal to me. I’m also grateful to the editors at Little Patuxent Review and staff at Baltimore’s Pratt Library for awarding their 2012 poetry prize to my poem “If Mamie Till Was the Mother of God.”