Jack Collom was born in Chicago. He joined the US Air Force and was posted in Libya and Germany before returning to the United States. He earned a BA in forestry and English and an MA in English literature from the University of Colorado. Collom started publishing his poetry in the 1960s; his more recent publications were Entering the City (1997), Dog Sonnets (1998), the 500-plus page collection Red Car Goes By (2001), and Situations, Sings with Lyn Hejinian (2008).
Collom’s poetry takes its genesis from everyday happenings, activities, and observations; his book on writing for and by children, Poetry Everywhere (1994), reflects this outlook. His poems for adults are often grounded in the details of the natural world, and he has been described as an ecological poet. Collom was active as a teacher of creative writing for adults and children since the 1970s. He has taught for Poets-in-the-Schools and as an adjunct professor at Naropa University, where he teaches ecology and literature. His awards include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. He died in 2017.