Currently an Assistant Professor of English at the University of New Hampshire at Manchester, Abramson is a graduate of Dartmouth College (1998), Harvard Law School (2001), the Iowa Writers' Workshop (2009), and the doctoral program in English at University of Wisconsin-Madison (2010; 2016). He writes a blog on contemporary poetry for The Huffington Post and is a regular columnist for Indiewire. Abramson's Indiewire column focuses on films, television programs, and video games informed by metamodernism. Publishers Weekly notes that Abramson has "picked up a very large following as a blogger and commentator, covering poetry, politics, and higher education, and generating a controversial, U.S. News-style ranking of graduate programs in writing." Before entering academia, Abramson was an attorney for the New Hampshire Public Defender and a commentator for Air America Radio.
Abramson has published a number of books and anthologies. Publishers Weekly describes Abramson as "serious and ambitious...uncommonly interested in general statements, in hard questions, and harder answers, about how to live."
Colorado Review called Northerners, Abramson's second collection of poetry, "alternately expansive and deeply personal...of crystalline beauty and complexity," terming Abramson "a major American voice." Notre Dame Review echoed the sentiment, calling Abramson "a powerful voice."
Abramson won the 2008 J. Howard and Barbara M.J. Wood Prize from Poetry. Editor Don Share said of Abramson's "What I Have," "The poem absorbs certain details but doesn't fasten upon them the way poets are tempted to do; it's not adjectival, it's not descriptive, it's not painting a kind of canvas with scenery on it, and yet those details are really fascinating."
Abramson, with the poet Jesse Damiani, has been Series Co-Editor of the annual anthology of innovative verse, Best American Experimental Writing, since its inception with Omnidawn in 2012. The series was picked up by Wesleyan University Press in 2014.
Abramson authors The MFA Research Project (MRP), a website that publishes indexes of creative writing Master of Fine Arts (MFA) programs based on surveys and hard-data research. Indexes appearing on the MRP include ordered listings of program popularity, funding, selectivity, fellowship placement, job placement, student-faculty ratio, application cost, application response times, application and curriculum requirements, and foundation dates. The MRP also publishes surveys of current MFA applicants, and of various creative writing programs. Writing for The Cambridge Companion to American Poetry Since 1945, Hank Lazer described Abramson's project as "a daring and data-rich endeavor." The Missouri Review observed that Abramson, along with novelist Tom Kealey, "had done a tremendous amount of work to peel back the layers of MFA programs and get applicants to make informed decisions."
Data from the MRP has been regularly published by Poets & Writers since 2009. The Chronicle of Higher Education has termed the Poets & Writers national assessment methodology "comprehensive" and "the only MFA ranking regime." The data is not without its critics. In September 2011, a critical open letter signed by professors from undergraduate and graduate creative writing programs was published. In their response, Poets & Writers asserted that it adhered to the highest journalistic standards. The magazine's Editorial Director Mary Gannon said of Abramson, the rankings' primary researcher, that he "has been collecting data about applicants' preferences and about MFA programs for five years, and we stand behind his integrity."
In May 2014, Abramson was criticised for his Huffington Post piece "Last Words for Elliot Rodger", a "remix" of words taken from the final YouTube video of the perpetrator of the Isla Vista killings, which Abramson published less than two days after they took place. Both the reuse of Rodger's words and the timing of the poem caused offence. Although Abramson called the work "a vehicle for amity and compassion", Omnidawn, Abramson's publisher at the time, issued a statement saying that it was "dismayed, disheartened, distressed", adding that "his actions in this matter are not in alignment with our principles."
After the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Abramson received widespread attention for his tweets alleging collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. Several critics have described Abramson as a conspiracy theorist, a label that Abramson himself rejects.2012, Akron Poetry Prize
2012, August Derleth Fiction Prize
2010, Green Rose Prize
2008, J. Howard and Barbara M.J. Wood Prize
Best American Experimental Writing 2018 [Series Co-Editor] (Wesleyan University Press, 2018)
An Insider's Guide to Graduate Creative Writing Degrees (Bloomsbury, 2018)
Golden Age (BlazeVOX Books, 2017)
Best American Experimental Writing 2016 [Series Co-Editor] (Wesleyan University Press, 2016)
DATA (BlazeVOX Books, 2016)
Metamericana (BlazeVOX Books, 2015)
Best American Experimental Writing 2015 [Series Co-Editor] (Wesleyan University Press, 2015)
Best American Experimental Writing 2014 [Series Co-Editor] (Omnidawn, 2014)
Thievery (University of Akron Press, 2013)
Northerners (New Issues/Western Michigan University Press, 2011)
The Poets & Writers Guide to MFA Programs [Contributing Author] (Poets & Writers, 2011)
The Suburban Ecstasies (Ghost Road Press, 2009)
The Creative Writing MFA Handbook [Contributing Author] (Continuum Publishing, 2008)
After the Program Era: The Past, Present, and Future of Creative Writing in the University (University of Iowa Press, 2017)
The Bloomsbury Anthology of Contemporary Jewish American Poetry (Bloomsbury, 2013)
Poetry of the Law (University of Iowa Press, 2010)
Best New Poets 2008 (University of Virginia Press, 2008)
Lawyers and Poetry (West Virginia University Press, 2001)
Xconnect (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2000)