Biography of AM Juster
After his secondary education at The Roxbury Latin School, Astrue earned a bachelor's degree from Yale University, where he served as President of the Yale Political Union, and a Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law School.
Astrue, who previously served in the Social Security Administration as Counselor to the Commissioner, served in the US Department of Health and Human Services as General Counsel and as Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Leigislation. He also served as Associate Counsel to the President of the United States at the White House in the Reagan and George Bush Sr administrations. In the private sector, he practiced law and was as a senior executive at several biotechnology companies.
Astrue was nominated as Commissioner of the Social Security Administration by President George W. Bush on September 14, 2006 and confirmed by the US Senate on February 2, 2007. He was sworn in on February 12, 2007 to serve a six-year term.
In the June/July 2010 issue of First Things magazine, Astrue was profiled by poet Paul Mariani, who revealed him as the personage behind the pseudonym and anagram A. M. Juster, the poet and translator associated with New Formalism.
As Juster, Astrue has published a book of Petrarch translations, a translation of The Satires of Horace (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008) , Longing for Laura (Birch Brook Press, 2001), and a book of original poetry, The Secret Language of Women (University of Evansville 2003). Juster was also the first moderator for Eratosphere, the largest on-line site for formal poetry.
2002 Richard Wilbur Award, for The Secret Language of Women selected by Rachel Hadas
AM Juster's Works:
The Secret Language of Women (2002)
Longing for Laura, Petrarch (2002)
Horace (2008). The Satires of Horace. Translator A. M. Juster.
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AM Juster Poems
A long eugenic past reduces roses to a vain and pampered caste.
To a Painting of Echo
Foolish artist, why must you sketch my face And hound a goddess eyes cannot detect? I am the daughter born of Speech and Space, Babble's mother, a voiceless intellect.
Dear Lord, Please flood her nerves with sedatives and keep her strong enough to crack a smile so disbelieving friends and relatives
The other frogs consider me aloof And mock each out-of-season mating call, But I regard my plight as living proof That faith can foster something magical.
Note From Echo
Narcissus, I no longer haunt the canyons and the crypts. I thrive and multiply; uncounted daughters are my new companions.
I dream the Florida of Body Heat With Kathleen Turner twisting in her dress, Wind chimes unsettling my sweaty sleep And lovers marinating in deceit.
Into The Country Of The Gadarenes
Arthritic fingers of the olive trees Accuse the sun of ancient injuries. The shallows harden to an ochre crust
Long Strange Trip
The flower children gone to seed Bake brownies for the PTA And give to liberals in need.
We saw the mass grave at the Moscow Zoo. A sullen man dug up a human skull Then held it high for journalists to view. Forensic specialists arrived to cull
A long eugenic past
reduces roses to
a vain and pampered caste.
Their charm is artifice,
their fragile shell of cells
unfit for wilderness.
Their languid symmetries