David Wojahn

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David Wojahn
OccupationPoet and Professor of Creative Writing
Notable worksIcehouse Lights, 1982

David Wojahn (born 1953, in St. Paul, Minnesota) is a contemporary American poet who teaches poetry in the Department of English at Virginia Commonwealth University, and in the low residency MFA in Writing program at the Vermont College of Fine Arts. He has been the director of Virginia Commonwealth University's Creative Writing Program.


He was educated at the University of Minnesota, and the University of Arizona.

Wojahn taught for many years at Indiana University. He has also taught at University of Alabama, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, University of Chicago, University of Houston, and University of New Orleans. In 2003, he joined Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. He also teaches at Vermont College of Fine Arts.


Most of Wojahn's poetry is metrical although he also works in free verse, usually addressing political and social issues in American life. He often takes as his subjects moments of significance in popular culture, such as the assassination of John Lennon, the professional decline of Jim Morrison or the drowning of Brian Jones. He has said that he hopes his poetry is considered "activist."

The poet Richard Hugo selected Wojahn's first book, Icehouse Lights, as a winner of the Yale Series of Younger Poets prize. "David Wojahn's poems concern themselves with emotive basics: leaving home, watching those we love age and die, the inescapable drone of our mortality," Hugo wrote. "Yet as poems, they are far from usual. They help us welcome inside, again and again, the most personal of feelings."[1]

Wojahn has gone on to publish seven more books of poetry, all with the University of Pittsburgh Press. Wojahn has also edited a volume of poetry by his late wife, Lynda Hull, entitled The Only World (HarperPerennial, 1995), as well as her more recent Collected Poems (Graywolf, 2006).



Poetry Books[edit]

  • World Tree. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press. 2011. ISBN 978-0-8229-6142-0.
  • Interrogation Palace: New and Selected Poems 1982-2004. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press. 2006. ISBN 978-0-8229-5917-5.
  • Spirit Cabinet. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press. 2002. ISBN 978-0-8229-5776-8.
  • The Falling Hour. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press. 1997. ISBN 978-0-8229-3995-5.
  • Late Empire. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press. 1994. ISBN 978-0-8229-3793-7.
  • Mystery Train. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press. 1990. ISBN 978-0-8229-3637-4.
  • Glassworks. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press. 1987. ISBN 978-0-8229-3553-7.
  • Icehouse Lights. New Haven: Yale University Press. 1982. ISBN 978-0-300-02816-4.



  • Lynda Hull (1995). David Wojahn (ed.). The Only World. HarperPerennial. ISBN 978-0-06-095112-2.
  • Profile of Twentieth Century American Poetry, with Jack Myers (Southern Illinois University, 1991)


  1. ^ Book description at Amazon.com Accessed on June 19, 2007.
  2. ^ University of Pittsburgh Press Archived 2007-06-17 at the Wayback Machine Accessed on June 19, 2007.
  3. ^ Virginia Commonwealth University press release Accessed on June 17, 2007.
  4. ^ Union Institute & University press release Accessed on June 17, 2007
  5. ^ Blackbird Accessed June 17, 2007.
  6. ^ Henderson, Bill; Levine, Philip; Wojahn, David (30 March 1986). The Pushcart Prize XI: Best of the Small Presses ... with an Index to the First Eleven Volumes ; an Annual Small Press Reader. Pushcart Press. ISBN 9780916366391 – via Google Books.
  7. ^ "University to honor outstanding faculty at 26th Convocation". vcu.edu.
  8. ^ "12 college teachers honored in Virginia". The Richmond Times Dispatch. January 27, 2009. Archived from the original on September 18, 2012.
  9. ^ University of Arkansas Press. Accessed June 17, 2007.

External links[edit]