JANE BEAL, PhD is a poet, musician, and artist; a writer of fiction, creative nonfiction, and studies of literature, culture, and collegiate pedagogy; and a midwife, minister, and professor. She has created 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 appears in Crux Literary Journal, Dappled Things, Pacific Review, and Literature Today, Main Street Rag’s Law & Disorder anthology, and her book, Short Stories from Undiscovered Countries (Lulu Press, 2009). Her creative nonfiction includes biographies on 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 that appear regularly in the professional magazine Midwifery Today. She publishes personal essays and articles on midwifery practice, and she 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 is the author of The Signifying Power of Pearl: Medieval Literary and Cultural Contexts for the Transformation of Genre (Routledge, 2017) and John Trevisa and the English Polychronicon (ACMRS/Brepols, 2012), editor of Illuminating Moses: A History of Reception from Exodus to the Renaissance (Brill, 2014) and Illuminating Jesus in the Middle Ages (Brill, in-progress), and co-editor of Translating the Past: Essays on Medieval Literature in Honor of Marijane Osborn (ACMRS, 2012) and Approaches to Teaching the Middle English Pearl (MLA, 2017). Her academic essays on collegiate pedagogy appear in This Rough Magic, The Once and Future Classroom, and SMART: Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Teaching. Her recent studies of the life and works of J.R.R. Tolkien appear in The Journal of Tolkien Research.
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. She has taught at Wheaton College, Colorado Christian University, and the University of California, Davis, in the University Writing Program and the Center for Educational Effectiveness. 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 the teachings of Jesus, she has served as a lay minister in diverse Christian churches. She is an associate professor of English at the University of La Verne in southern California.