Jeff Encke taught writing and criticism at Columbia University for several years, serving as writer-in-residence for the Program in Narrative Medicine as he completed his PhD in English in 2002. He now teaches literature and philosophy at Richard Hugo House.

His poetry has appeared in American Poetry Review, Barrow Street, Black Warrior Review, Boston Review, Colorado Review, Fence, Kenyon Review Online, Salt Hill, and Tarpaulin Sky. In 2004, he published Most Wanted: A Gamble in Verse, a series of love poems addressed to Saddam Hussein and other Iraqi war criminals printed on a deck of playing cards.

4Culture awarded him a grant in 2010 to support his more recent work, and in 2016 he won the Second Annual William Dickey Memorial Broadside Contest (judged by Forrest Gander).