John Tipton was born in Alton, Illinois, and grew up in Indiana. After serving in the army, he earned a degree in philosophy from the University of Chicago. He is the author of the poetry collections Surfaces (2004) and Paramnesia (2016) and the chapbook clause automata (2001). His translations of Greek tragedies, including Sophocles’s Ajax (2008) and Aeschylus’s Seven Against Thebes (2015), have garnered praise for their “vigor and careful tuning … [and] terse idiomatic grace.”
Tipton was the founder and director of the Chicago Poetry Project, a long-running reading series that ended in 2011. With Peter O’Leary, Tipton founded the small literary press Verge Books in 2013 in an effort to continue and extend the Chicago Poetry Project’s mission. He is currently the press’s publisher and lives in Chicago.