John Jacob

John Christopher Jacob, 72, died on Jan. 5, 2023. Born in Chicago on Aug. 27, 1950, he was raised in Glen Ellyn, and spent the majority of his life in Oak Park. A graduate of Glenbard West High School, he earned a B.A. from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. (in Writing/Poetry) from the University of Illinois Chicago, where his mentor was the well-known poet Michael Anania. He was very active in the Small Press poetry scene in the 1970s-90s, running his own publishing house, Cat’s Pajamas Press. A prolific, published poet, he won Chicago’s first Carl Sandburg Literary Award for Poetry and also published a novel, Long Ride Back, about a Vietnam veteran. Throughout his career, John taught at Northwestern University, North Central College, and Roosevelt University. He was also a Poet-in-Residence for the Illinois Arts Council for many years.

John is survived by his two children, Lucas (Madison) and Katy (Gabe Sterritt); his granddaughter, Lenny Sterritt (16); his grandson, Augie Sterritt (13); his brother, Jim Jacob; and his ex-wife, Martha; as well as cousins and other extended family members. He was preceded in death by his parents, Bertram and Eleanor (Addy).

No service is planned. In his memory, please support your local arts council, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and/or PEN America.

“Mellow this movement of moments … the current runs on and on through time …”

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