Photo Credit: Laurie Johnson

Richard Chess

b. 1953

Current City, State, Country

Asheville, North Carolina, USA

Birth City, State, Country

Los Angeles, California, USA


Richard Chess is the author of four books of poetry, Love Nailed to the Doorpost (University of Tampa Press 2017), Tekiah (University of Georgia Press 1996; republished by University of Tampa Press 2000); Chair in the Desert (University of Tampa Press 2000); and Third Temple (University of Tampa Press 2006). His poems have been anthologized in Telling and Remembering: A Century of American Jewish Poetry, The Bloomsbury Anthology of Contemporary Jewish American Poetry, Bearing Witness: Twenty Years of Image Journal, and elsewhere. His work has also been included in Best American Spiritual Writing 2005. His essays have been included in Stars Shall Bend Their Voices: Poets’ Favorite Hymns and Spiritual Songs, 27 Views of Asheville, Far from the Center of Ambition, and elsewhere. He is a regular contributor to Close Reading, the blog hosted by Slant Books. He was a member of the core arts faculty at the Brandeis Bardin Institute for three years, after which he was on the faculty of the Jewish Arts Institute at Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center. He is Professor Emeritus at UNC Asheville. He directed UNC Asheville’s Center for Jewish Studies for 30 years. He also played a leading role in UNC Asheville’s contemplative inquiry initiative. He is the Treasurer of Yetzirah.

Published Works

Love Nailed to the Doorpost (University of Tampa Press, 2017)
Third Temple (University of Tampa Press, 2007)
Chair in the Desert (University of Tampa Press, 2000)
Tekiah (University of Georgia Press, 1994; reissued by University of Tampa Press, 2002)

Author Site

Links to Sample Works

Video Reading

Current Title

Professor Emeritus, UNC Asheville


Glassboro State College (now Rowan University), BA 1976
University of Florida (MA 1984, PhD 1988)

Subject Matter