Lea founded New England Review in 1977 and edited it until 1989. Of his twelve previous poetry collections, Pursuit of a Wound was one of three finalists for the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for poetry. The preceding volume, To the Bone: New and Selected Poems, won the 1998 Poets’ Prize. In 1989, Lea also published the novel A Place in Mind with Scribner, soon to be re-issued in paper by Red Hen Press. Growing Old in Poetry: Two Poets, Two Lives (Autumn House, 2013), his collaborative book with Fleda Brown, former Delaware Poet Laureate, is available in e-book format. The author’s longtime fascination with upper New England and its vanishing traditions is recorded in A North Country Life: Tales of Woodsmen, Waters and Wildlife, (Skyhorse Publishing, 2012).
Lea has received fellowships from the Rockefeller, Fulbright and Guggenheim Foundations, and has taught at Dartmouth, Yale, Wesleyan, Vermont and Middlebury Colleges, as well as at Franklin College in Switzerland and the Eotvos Lorand University in Budapest. His stories, poems, essays and criticism have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The New Republic, The New York Times, Sports Illustrated and many other periodicals, as well as in more than fifty anthologies. He lives in Newbury, Vermont, and is active both in literacy efforts (Central Vermont Adult Basic Education, Inc.) and in conservation (Downeast Lakes Land Trust).