Chase Twichell was born in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1950. She received a bachelor’s degree from Trinity College (Hartford) in 1973 and earned an M.F.A. from the University of Iowa in 1976. Her books of poetry include Dog Language (2005), The Snow Watcher (1998), The Ghost of Eden (1995), Perdido (1991), The Odds (1986) and Northern Spy (1981). From 1976 to 1984 she worked at Pennyroyal Press, and from 1986 to 1988 she co-edited the Alabama Poetry Series, published by University of Alabama Press. She also co-edited The Practice of Poetry: Writing Exercises from Poets Who Teach with Robin Behn (HarperCollins, 1992).
Chase has won awards from the Artists Foundation (Boston), the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Many of Chase’s poems are heavily influenced by her years as a Zen Buddhist student of John Daido Loori at Zen Mountain Monastery and her poetry in The Snow Watcher shows it. In an interview in the Fall 2003 issue of Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, Chase says, “Zazen and poetry are both studies of the mind. I find the internal pressure exerted by emotion and by a koan to be similar in surprising and unpredictable ways. Zen is a wonderful sieve through which to pour a poem. It strains out whatever’s inessential.”