JAMIE PARSLEY was born in Fargo, North Dakota and was
raised near Harwood, North Dakota. The first of his ten books
of poems, Paper Doves, Falling and Other Poems, was published
in 1992 when he was 22. Over the next 18 years, he published
nine more books of poems, including The Loneliness of Blizzards
(published in 1995), Cloud: a poem in 2 acts (1997), The Wounded
Table (1999), earth into earth (2000), no stars, no moon; new and
selected haiku (2004),and Ikon (2005). His eighth book of poems,
Just Once (2007) chronicled his diagnosis, treatment and ultimate
recovery from cancer in 2002. This Grass (2009) was written in
collaboration with paintings by artist Gin Templeton. Fargo,
1957 (forthcoming from the Institute for Regional Studies at
North Dakota State University) is an elegiac chronicle of the
tornado that struck Fargo, North Dakota in June, 1957
His poems, fiction and other writings have been published in
literary journals and anthologies in the United States, Britain,
Canada and Japan.
His prayer “A Prayer on the Feast Day of Jonathan Myrick
Daniels” appeared in the anthology Race and Prayer: Collected
Voices Many Dreams, edited by Macolm Boyd and Chester
Talton and published in 2003 by Morehouse. His sermon “Jesus
in Showbiz” appeared in the anthology Get Up Off Your Knees:
Preaching the U2 Songbook, published in 2003 by Cowley
Several of his prayers were included in Evangelical Lutheran
Worship Pastoral Care (2008).
In 2004, he was designated an Associate Poet Laureate of North
Dakota by North Dakota Poet Laureate Larry Woiwode.
He received a Master of Fine Arts Degree in Creative Writing
from Vermont College of Norwich University. He also studied
at the School of Theology at Thornloe University in Sudbury,
Ontario, St. Joseph’s College, Standish, Maine and received a
Master's Degree from Nashotah House Seminary, Nashotah,
He was ordained a deacon on July 25, 2003 and a priest on June
11, 2004. He served as an Assisting Priest at Gethsemane
Episcopal Cathedral, Fargo, from 2004-2008. He was appointed
Assistant to the Bishop for Communications in the Episcopal
Diocese of North Dakota from 2005-2008. He also served as
Chaplain to All Saints Episcopal Church, Valley City, ND
from 2006-2008. In 2008, he became Priest-in-Charge of St.
Stephen's Episcopal Church, Fargo. In 2009, he was appointed
Executive Assistant to the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of
He has taught Theology, Ethics, Philosophy, Literature and
Writing at the University of Mary's Fargo campus since 2003.
Jamie describes himself as "a progressive, inclusive, generously
Catholic Episcopal priest and poet."
Fellow writers have also recognized Jamie's work. Jon Hassler
(1933-2008), author of North of Hope and Staggerford said, “Jamie
Parsley’s poems are so evocative, so lonely, so understated, that I
admire them very much. One of his best talents is avoiding
wordiness—a mistake so common to many poets, in my opinion.
The reader feels very comfortable fitting himself into the
silences of Jamie’s poems.”
Cid Corman (1924-2004), the late editor of Origin magazine and
widely acclaimed poet, said, “The feeling [in Jamie Parsley's
poems] is warm and open and good. . .a good feeling all around.
Given his years—notable.”
Editor John Daniel said, “Jamie Parsley's poems are strong and
sensual, and they’re driven by right-minded feelings. And they’
re intelligent without being overly cerebral. The language
creates celebration and life in lines that sing like brookwater.
He has a magic palette and there is a mythic quality in the way
he sees nature. Forgive me for going on at the mouth but this is