In his introduction to Things Are Happening, poet Gerald Stern noted the “openness” of Beckman’s poems: “His identity is through affection. That is his print.” In a review for Coldfront magazine, John Deming commented: “Beckman’s traditionally a master at converting the personal to the existential in a deceptively plain-spoken way.”
Beckman co-edited State of the Union: 50 Political Poems (2008), an anthology of political poems, with Matthew Zapruder. He has also translated poems by Carlos Oquendo de Amat and Tomaž Šalamun.
Beckman lives in Seattle and in Brooklyn, New York.