Betsy Sholl

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Elizabeth "Betsy" Sholl is an American poet and a former poet laureate of Maine. She was appointed by Governor John Baldacci to the position in 2006 and held it until 2011.[1] She is the author of eight collections of poetry, most recently, "Otherwise Unseeable (University of Wisconsin Press, March,2014), the winner of the Four Lakes Prize in Poetry [2] and Rough Cradle (Alice James Books, 2009). Her poetry has been published in numerous journals and magazines including Orion Magazine,[3] Field, Triquarterly, The Kenyon Review, The Massachusetts Review, Ploughshares,[4] and Beloit Poetry Journal. She has been awarded fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Maine Arts Commission.

She was one of the seven founding members of Alice James Books,[5] and teaches at the University of Southern Maine and in the low-residency MFA program at the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She has been a visiting poet at the University of Pittsburgh and at Bucknell University.[6]

She grew up in Brick Township, New Jersey, and has an MFA in poetry writing from Vermont College as well as an M.A. from the University of Rochester and a BA in English Literature from Bucknell University. She lives in Portland, Maine, with her husband.[7] She and her husband, Doug Sholl, moved to Maine in 1983 after stints in Boston and Big Stone Gap, Virginia.[8]

Published works[edit]

Full-length Poetry Collections

  • "Otherwise Unseeable" ([University of Wisconsin Press, March 2014])
  • Rough Cradle (Alice James Books, 2009)
  • Late Psalm (University of Wisconsin Press, 2004)
  • Don't Explain (University of Wisconsin Press, 1997)
  • The Red Line (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1992)
  • Rooms Overhead (Alice James Books, 1986)
  • Appalachian Winter (Alice James Books, 1978)
  • Changing Faces (Alice James Books, 1974)


  • Greatest Hits 1974 - 2004 (Pudding House Publications, 2004)[9]
  • Coastal Bop (Oyster River Press, 2001)
  • Pick a Card (Coyote/Bark Publication, 1991)


  • Letters to America: Contemporary American Poetry on Race (Wayne State University Press, 1995)
  • The Maine Poets: An Anthology of Verse (Down East Books, 2003)


  1. ^ "Maine Arts Commission - Page Not Found".
  2. ^ "UW Press: Otherwise Unseeable".
  3. ^ "Orion Magazine - Endless Argument".
  4. ^ "Read By Author - Ploughshares".
  5. ^ Alice James Books Website > About Us Archived February 10, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "Poet-in-Residence".
  7. ^ Google Book Search > Listen Here: Women Writing in Appaliachia
  8. ^ Down East: The Magazine of Maine, June, 2006 > The People's Poet: Maine's New Poet Laureate, Betsy Sholl, finds poetry in the most unlikely places > by Michaela Cavallaro[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ Pudding House Publications > Greatest Hits National Archive

External links[edit]