Ellen Bryant Voigt

(1943 - / Virginia)

Biography of Ellen Bryant Voigt

Ellen Bryant Voigt poet

Ellen Bryant Voigt (born 1943) is an American poet. She has published six collections of poetry and a collection of craft essays. Her poetry collection Shadow of Heaven (2002) was a finalist for the National Book Award and Kyrie (1995) was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her poetry has been published in several national publications. She served as the Poet Laureate of Vermont for four years and in 2003 was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.

Voigt grew up in Virginia, graduated from Converse College, and received an M.F.A. from the University of Iowa. She has taught at M.I.T. and Goddard College where in 1976 she developed and directed the nation's first low-residency M.F.A. in Creative Writing program. Since 1981 she has taught in the Warren Wilson College MFA Program for Writers.

She resides in Cabot, Vermont.

Ellen Bryant Voigt's Works:


Claiming Kin (1976)
The Forces of Plenty (1983)
The Lotus Flowers: Poems (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1987)
Two Trees (1992)
Kyrie (1995)
The Flexible Lyric (essays) (2001)
Shadow of Heaven (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2002)
Messenger: New and Selected Poems 1976-2006 (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2007)

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PoemHunter.com Updates

Blue Ridge

Up there on the mountain road, the fireworks
blistered and subsided, for once at eye level:
spatter of light like water flicked from the fingers;
the brief emergent pattern; and after the afterimage bled
from the night sky, a delayed and muffled thud
that must have seemed enormous down below,
the sound concomitant with the arranged
threat of fire above the bleachers.
I stood as tall and straight as possible,

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