Lewis Turco was founding director of both the Cleveland State University Poetry Center (1962) and the Program in Writing Arts at the State University of New York College at Oswego (1968) from which he retired as Emeritus Professor of English in 1996. He took his B. A. from the University of Connecticut in 1959 and his M. A. from the University of Iowa in 1962. In 2000 he received an honorary degree, Doctor of Humane Letters, from Ashland University.
The author of fifty books, chapbooks, and monographs, Lewis Turco has published "The Book of Forms: A Handbook of Poetics" (E. P. Dutton, 1968), which, over the decades, has become known as “the poet's bible”; "Awaken, Bells Falling: Poems 1959-1968" (University of Missouri Press, 1968); "The New Book of Forms (University Press of New England," 1986); "Visions and Revisions of American Poetry" (University of Arkansas Press, winner of the Poetry Society of America's 1986 Melville Cane Award for literary criticism, judged by Donald Davie); "The Shifting Web: New and Selected Poems" (University of Arkansas Press, 1989), "The Public Poet: Five Lectures on the Art and Craft of Poetry" (Ashland University Poetry Press, 1991); and "Emily Dickinson: Woman of Letters, Poems and Centos from Lines in Emily Dickinson's Letters" (State University of New York Press, 1993).