Honorary Degree


Hoover-PaulBorn in Harrisonburg, Va., in 1946, and raised in Illinois and Ohio, Paul Hoover played basketball and majored in English at Manchester where professors recognized his talents and encouraged him to write.  After graduating with distinction in 1968, Hoover, a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War, performed his alternative service at a Chicago hospital, an experience that inspired his first novel, Saigon, Illinois.

While still in Chicago, he earned his master’s degree in English at the University of Illinois-Chicago. He was poet-in-residence at Columbia College, where he taught for nearly 28 years and founded the Columbia Poetry Review. Since 2003, Hoover has been professor of creative writing at San Francisco State University. He is widely known as the editor of the anthology Postmodern American Poetry and, with his wife Maxine Chernoff, is founder and co-editor of the annual literary magazine New American Writing.

Through the years, he has published more than a dozen poetry collections and a collection of essays, in addition to his novel. His poems have appeared in many magazines, including the prestigious Paris Review, and in many anthologies, including The Best American Poetry.

A resident of Mill Valley, Calif., Hoover has won numerous awards for his poetry, including the Carl Sandburg Award and a Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. In 1990, Manchester University recognized Hoover with the Alumni Honor Award.