Jay Parini is a poet, novelist, biographer and critic. His five books of poetry include THE ART OF SUBTRACTION: New and Selected Poems. He has written eight novels, including BEJAMIN'S CROSSING, THE APPRENTICE LOVER, THE PASSAGE OF H.M. and THE LAST STATION --- the latter was made into an Academy Award-nominated film starring Helen Mirren and Christopher Plummer. He has written biographies of John Steinbeck, Robert Frost and William Faulkner. His nonfiction works include JESUS: The Human Face of God, WHY POETRY MATTERS, and PROMISE LAND: Thirteen Books that Changed America. He writes for various publications, including The New York Times, The Guardian and The Chronicle of Higher Education.