Anne Boyer

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Anne Boyer (born 1973 in Topeka, Kansas) is an American poet and essayist. She is the author of The Romance of Happy Workers (2008),[1] The 2000s (2009),[2] My Common Heart (2011),[3] Garments Against Women (2015),[4] and The Handbook of Disappointed Fate (2018).[5] In 2016, she was a featured blogger at the Poetry Foundation, where she wrote an ongoing series of posts about her diagnosis and treatment for a highly aggressive form of breast cancer, as well as the lives and near deaths of poets.[6] Her essays about illness have appeared in Guernica, The New Inquiry, Fullstop, and more. Boyer teaches at the Kansas City Art Institute with the poets Cyrus Console and Jordan Stempleman.[7] Her poetry has been translated into numerous languages including Icelandic, Spanish, Persian, and Swedish. With Guillermo Parra and Cassandra Gillig, she has translated the work of 20th century Venezuelan poets Victor Valera Mora, Miguel James, and Miyo Vestrini.

Life and career[edit]

Anne Boyer was born in Topeka, Kansas in 1973 and grew up in Salina, Kansas where she was educated in its public schools and libraries; and she received an MFA in creative writing from Wichita State University.[8][9][10] She has been a professor at the Kansas City Art Institute since 2011. Her diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer has become the subject of her current work, examining the intersection of social class and medical care.[11]

Boyer is the winner of the 2018 Cy Twombly Award in Poetry from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts and her book Garments Against Women won the 2016 Community of Literary Magazines and Presses Firecracker Award in poetry. She was also named "The Best Writer in Kansas City" by The Pitch.[7] In 2018 she also won the Whiting Award in Nonfiction/Poetry.[12]

Critical reception[edit]

Boyer's 2015 book Garments Against Women spent 6 months at the top of the Small Press Distribution's best seller list in poetry.[13] The New York Times called it "a sad, beautiful, passionate book that registers the political economy of life and literature itself."[14]

Chris Stroffolino at The Rumpus described it as "widening the boundaries of poetry and memoir."[15]

Garments Against Women was described by Publisher's Weekly as a book that "faces the material and philosophical problems of writing--and by extension, living--in the contemporary world. Boyer attempts to abandon literature in the same moments that she forms it, turning to sources as diverse as Jean-Jacques Rousseau, the acts of sewing and garment production, and a book on happiness that she finds in a thrift store. Her book, then, becomes filled with other books, imagined and resisted."[16]

List of Works[edit]

A Handbook of Disappointed Fate

Garments Against Women

The Undying

My Common Heart

Art is War

Anne Boyer's Good Apocalypse

The Romance of Happy Workers

A Form of Sabotage

The 2000s


  • The Romance of Happy Workers. Minneapolis, Minnesota: Coffee House Press, 2008. ISBN 9781566892148
  • Garments Against Women. Boise, Idaho: Ahsahta Press, 2015. ISBN 9781934103593
  • A Handbook of Disappointed Fate. Brooklyn, New York: Ugly Duckling Presse, 2018. ISBN 9781937027926


  1. ^ Boyer, Anne, 1973- (2008). The romance of happy workers : poetry. Minneapolis: Coffee House Press. ISBN 9781566892148. OCLC 181730502.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  2. ^ "anneboyerthetwothousands | Poetry". Scribd. Retrieved 2019-06-10.
  3. ^ Boyer, Anne. My Common Heart.
  4. ^ "Anne Boyer : The Poetry Foundation". Retrieved 2016-02-26.
  5. ^ Boyer, Anne, 1973-. A handbook of disappointed fate (First ed.). Brooklyn, NY. ISBN 1937027929. OCLC 1024158306.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  6. ^ Foundation, Poetry. "Tender Theory". Harriet: The Blog. Retrieved 2016-02-26.
  7. ^ a b "About". Anne Boyer. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2016-02-26. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  8. ^ "Elective Affinities: Anne Boyer". Retrieved 2016-02-26.
  9. ^ "Anne Boyer". Coffee House Press. Retrieved 2017-03-29.
  10. ^ Wilson, Calvin (2018-05-09). "Honors: Anne Boyer". KC STUDIO. Retrieved 2019-05-23.
  11. ^ "Current Project: On Care". Anne Boyer. Retrieved 2016-02-26.
  12. ^ "Anne Boyer". Retrieved 2018-03-23.
  13. ^ "Anne Boyer". Anne Boyer. Retrieved 2016-02-26.
  14. ^ Mclane, Maureen N. (2015-12-24). "Anne Boyer's 'Garments Against Women'". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-02-26.
  15. ^ Foundation, Poetry. "'Literature is against us': In Conversation with Anne Boyer". Harriet: The Blog. Retrieved 2016-02-26.
  16. ^ "Garments Against Women". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 2016-02-26.