Jan Freeman was born and raised in Pennsylvania. After graduating from Vassar College in 1979, she moved to New York City where she worked in the publishing industry for several years. In 1986, she earned an M.A. from New York University. Since then, Freeman has worked as a freelance writer and editor and a contributing editor for The American Poetry Review.
“Hyena is a wild, lush original. Jan Freeman’ s extraordinary first collection aims straight at the body and unmasks its hungers, anger, and separateness. Her poems breathe almost unbreathable air of passion, insist on the truth of denied and forbidden feelings, and rejoice in the feast.” –Joan Larkin
“This is the real stuff. . . Erotic, beautiful, terrible, taboo, terrifying, violent images used to split the skin, these poems are whole dances, magic chants, bloodroot erotic prayers incredible to hear, of the wild troubled powerful spirit caught in the body, loving and hating the body, painting the dead, the earth, the universe. . . ‘I am out I am out I am out: I swear I am out.’ You’ll swear it too.” –Sharon Doubiago
“. . .Blow torch talk takes courage, and these shameless poems about shame have the accurate power. . .Spinoza’s marvelous insight that we do not comprehend what the body may be is here underlined by a new and ferocious sense of vital sexuality. And Freeman reminds us that we do not yet know what poetry can be, always newly born.” –David Shapiro
“This book is a revolution. It is to poetry what the concept of the Klein bottle is to the three-dimensional world—the simultaneous connection, inside and outside of physical and emotional experience. Every poem in Hyena is unique. You see, taste, feel, and remember every sensual detail. With daring and powerful language, Jan Freeman breaks the barriers of learning responses, opening walls of consciousness. These are poems of great tenderness, violence, and sensual beauty. They are lyrical, hypnotic. You don’ t forget them. Hyena is a ground-breaking work. This poetry of genius.” –Ruth Stone
Cleveland State University Poetry Center
Freeman, Jan, "Hyena" (1993). CSU Poetry Center Books. 28.