The daughter of renowned prima ballerina Maria Tallchief and Chicago contractor Henry D. Paschen, she was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, where she attended the Francis W. Parker School. While an undergraduate at Harvard University, Paschen received the Lloyd McKim Garrison Medal for poetry, and served as Poetry Editor of the Harvard Advocate. At Oxford University, where she received her M.Phil. and D.Phil. degrees in 20th Century British and American Literature, she co-founded and co-edited Oxford Poetry. Paschen is an enrolled member of the Osage Nation.
Her books of poetry include, most recently, The Nightlife, as well as Bestiary, Infidelities, winner of the Nicholas Roerich Poetry Prize, and Houses: Coasts. Her poems have been published in numerous magazines and anthologies including The New Yorker, Poetry and The Best American Poetry 2018.
Executive Director of the Poetry Society of America from 1988 until 2001, she has edited numerous anthologies, including the New York Times bestsellers Poetry Speaks. Dr. Paschen teaches in the MFA Writing Program at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She lives in Chicago with her husband, Stuart Brainerd, and their two children.
- Nicholas Roerich Poetry Prize, for Infidelities
- Lloyd McKim Garrison Medal for poetry
- Joan Grey Untermyer Poetry Prize
- Richard Selig Poetry Prize
- Frances C. Allen Fellowship
- Houses: Coasts (Sycamore Press, Oxford, 1985)
- Infidelities (Story Line Press, 1996)
- Bestiary (Red Hen Press, 2009)
- The Nightlife (Red Hen Press, 2017)
Anthologies featuring her poems
- Reinventing the Enemy’s Language: Contemporary Native Women’s Writings of North America (1997)
- Ravishing DisUnities: Real Ghazals in English (2000)
- The POETRY Anthology, 1912—2002 (2002)
- A Formal Feeling Comes: Poems in Form by Contemporary Women (2007)
- Ghost Fishing: An Eco-Justice Poetry Anthology (University of Georgia Press, 2018)
Editor or co-editor
- Poetry in Motion (1996)
- Poetry Speaks (2001)
- Poetry in Motion from Coast to Coast (2002)
- Poetry Speaks to Children (2005)
- Poetry Speaks Expanded (2007)
- Poetry Speaks Who I Am (2010)
- Elise Paschen author homepage
- Elise Paschen on NativeWiki.
- Elise Paschen on Twitter.