JANE BEAL, PhD is a poet and a writer. She has created more than twenty-five poetry collections, including Sanctuary (Finishing Line Press, 2008) and Rising: Poems for America (Wipf and Stock, 2015), as well as three recording projects combining music and poetry: “Songs from the Secret Life,” “Love-Song,” and with her brother, saxophonist and composer Andrew Beal, “The Jazz Bird,” to which she contributed as a vocalist, flutist, and percussionist. Her poems appear in print, online, and in anthologies such as Contemporary Poetry, New Crops from Old Fields: Eight Medievalist Poets, Verse/Chorus: A Call and Response Anthology, and The Live Poets of Alexandria Anthology as well as in the devotional Closer to God. Her collage artwork appears in her picture-books Sacred Art and Fairy-Tale; her photography in Tidepools; and her paintings in Light and Lily.
Her fiction is featured in her book, Short Stories from Undiscovered Countries (Lulu, 2009). Her stories also appear in Crux Literary Journal, Dappled Things, Pacific Review, Literature Today, and Main Street Rag’s Law & Disorder anthology. Her creative nonfiction includes biographies of early women writers, about such luminaries as Marie de France and Queen Elizabeth I, published in Gale’s British Writers series. Since 2012, she has written articles about midwives in history and midwifery practice, which appear regularly in the professional magazine Midwifery Today. She also publishes memoir essays and blogs on poetry, birdwatching, midwifery, the Middle English Pearl, and the mythology of J.R.R. Tolkien.
In the field of literary scholarship and cultural studies, she has written the academic monograph, John Trevisa and the English Polychronicon (ACMRS/Brepols, 2012), and co-edited the festschrift, Translating the Past: Essays on Medieval Literature in Honor of Marijane Osborn (ACMRS, 2012). She also has written The Signifying Power of Pearl: Medieval Literary and Cultural Contexts for the Transformation of Genre (Routledge, 2017), co-authored and co-edited Approaches to Teaching the Middle English Pearl (MLA, 2017), and edited and translated Pearl: A Middle English Edition and Modern English Translation (Broadview, forthcoming 2019). She is now editing A New Companion to the Gawain-Poet. For Brill’s Commentaria series, she is the editor of two volumes of academic essays on the reception of major religious figures in the Middle Ages: Illuminating Moses (2014) and Illuminating Jesus (forthcoming 2019). Her studies of the life and legendarium of J.R.R. Tolkien appear in The Journal of Tolkien Research, and her academic essays on collegiate pedagogy appear in This Rough Magic, The Once and Future Classroom, and SMART: Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Teaching.
She received her BA (Sonoma State University), MA (Sonoma State University), and PhD (UC Davis) in English literature with concentrations in biblical, classical, medieval, and early modern literature. She also holds a Certificate in Midwifery from Mercy in Action College of Midwifery. She has taught at Wheaton College (near Chicago), Colorado Christian University (near Denver), and the University of California, Davis (between San Francisco and Sacramento) as well as the UC Washington Center (in Washington, D.C.). She has served as a midwife in the U.S., Uganda, and the Philippines, experiences she has written about in her poetry collections Epiphany: Birth Poems and Transfiguration: A Midwife’s Birth Poems. As a sincere follower of Jesus, she has served as a lay minister in diverse Christian churches. She currently serves as an associate professor of English at the University of La Verne (near Los Angeles) in southern California.