Born in Lubbock, Texas in 1943 and raised in Minneapolis, Richard Grossman received a BA in English Literature from Stanford University in 1965. After working as a high-level executive for a multi-national financial services company, he left the corporate world in 1976 in order to devote his time to writing. His first book of poetry, Tycoon Boy, was published by kayak in 1977 and was followed by The Animals (Zygote Press, 1983; Graywolf, 1990; revised edition, American Letters Press, 2011).
For the past two decades Grossman has been concentrating on a trilogy of novels entitled American Letters, intended to redefine the nature of writing. Its first two volumes, The Alphabet Man, describing hell, and The Book of Lazarus, describing purgatory, were published by FC2 in 1993 and 1997 respectively. The trilogy’s final installment, The Interstate Bingo, describing heaven, is forthcoming in 2014. The trilogy is among the 39 elements in Breeze Avenue, a 3,000,000-page work conceived by Grossman as a literary analog of cosmic consciousness. This project, whose ambition is to redefine the nature of literature, will be launched online in its comprehensive digital form in 2015 and then installed in a reading room as a set of 5,000 unique printed volumes. An abridged 6,000-page version of American Letters, presented in eight printed volumes, will follow. Additionally, 14 individual books from the trilogy are being published between 2011 and 2015. Works of art in a variety of media including sculptures, installations, videos, photographs, music, and theatrical performances are being produced by Grossman as part of the project.
Grossman’s poetry has appeared in over a hundred publications, including the Southern, Paris, North American, Chicago, and Hudson reviews. The Alphabet Man won the Illinois State University/Fiction Collective Two National Fiction Competition and was nominated for a PENWest Fiction Prize. Grossman and his wife currently live in Los Angeles, California and Makaweli, Hawaii.