JANET HAMILL was born in Jersey City, NJ. For her first five years, she gazed across the Hudson from the Palisades in Weehawken before her family moved to New Milford in Bergen County. She attended Glassboro State College (now Rowan University) in south Jersey, where she earned a BA in English. After graduation, she made New York City her base, interweaving jobs in bookstores with travels across the U.S.A. and down into Mexico. She took a freighter across the Atlantic and travelled through southern Europe, Morocco, Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Tanzania. Upon her return, Janet’s first book of poetry was published in 1975. Troublante (Oliphant Press), was followed by The Temple (Telephone Books), Nostalgia of the Infinite (Ocean View Books), and Lost Ceilings (Telephone Books).
A fifth volume of poems, Body of Water, published by Bowery Books, in November 2008, was nominated for the Poetry Society of America's William Carlos Williams Prize.
Janet’s poem “K-E-R-O-U-A-C,” included in the widely praised anthology, Bowery Women Poems (Bowery Books 2006), was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.
Janet's first collection of short fiction, Tales from the Eternal Cafe (Three Rooms Press), was named one of the "Best Books of 2014" by Publisher's Weekly.
Her poetry and short fiction has appeared in numerous anthologies and journals including Up Late: American Poetry Since 1970, The Low-Tech Manual, Living With the Animals, The Unmade Bed, Deep Down: The New Sensual Writing by Women, Bomb, City Lights Review, Alexandria Quarterly, New Wilderness, The World, Recluse, Bomb, Cafe Review, Poetry Flash, and the Hart Crane Newsletter.
A strong proponent of the spoken word, she has read at The Poetry Project, The People's Poetry Gathering, The Knitting Factory, The Andy Warhol Museum, Central Park Summer Stage, as well as other venues across the US, in Ireland and England.
Janet has released two CD’s of spoken word and music, Flying Nowhere (Yes No Maybe Records) and Genie of the Alphabet (Not Records), in collaboration with the band Moving Star (Jay LoRubbio, guitar; Bob Torsello, bass; Greg Feller and Sean Healey, drums; Evan Teatum, keyboards). Flying Nowhere was produced by Lenny Kaye (Patti Smith band, Suzanne Vega, Nuggets) and executive produced by Bob Holman (Bowery Poetry Club, The Collected Call of the Wild); it featured cameos by Lenny Kaye and Patti Smith (Horses, Auguries of Innocence). Genie of the Alphabet (Not Records) was self-produced and featured cameos by Beat legend David Amram (Pull My Daisy), Steve Franchino, Bob Holman, Lenny Kaye, Patti Smith and Judith Tulloch.
Janet’s paintings have been exhibited at the JP Art Market in Jamaica Plain, MA and galleries throughout New York's Hudson Valley, where she now resides.
Janet presently serves on Board of the Seligmann Center, in Sugar Loaf, NY, wjhere she is founder and co-director of the Center's literary program, MEGAPHONE.