Ellen Bryant Voigt

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Ellen Bryant Voigt
Born 1943
Chatham, Virginia
Nationality American
Alma mater Converse College, University of Iowa
Genre poetry
Notable awards Poet Laureate of Vermont,
MacArthur Fellow
Spouse Fran Voigt

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 collection Messenger [1](2008) was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.[2] 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. In 2015 Voigt was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship.


Voigt grew up in Chatham, Virginia, graduated from Converse College,[3] 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.[4]


She is married to Fran Voigt formerly an administrator at Goddard College. They have two children, Dudley and Will Voigt. She resides in Cabot, Vermont.



  • "Owl", 2013.[6]

Awards and honors[edit]


  1. ^ Birkerts, Sven (2007-02-25). "Messenger: New and Selected Poems, 1976-2006 - By Ellen Bryant Voigt - Books - Review". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-10-19. 
  2. ^ "Poetry – The Pulitzer Prizes". www.pulitzer.org. Retrieved 2016-10-19. 
  3. ^ "Genius grant for poet Ellen Bryant Voigt". charlotteobserver. Retrieved 2016-01-06. 
  4. ^ "Ellen Bryant Voigt — MacArthur Foundation". www.macfound.org. Retrieved 2016-01-06. 
  5. ^ Williams, Susan S. "Review of Messenger by Ellen Voigt". Blackbird. Virginia Commonwealth University. Retrieved 2016-01-06. In short, there’s nothing genteel and bloodless about Voigt’s poetry. Her tough-minded refusal to write pretty poems has also stayed with her throughout her career. Perhaps more than any other quality, this readiness to face what’s ugly and painful and real elevates Ellen Bryant Voigt’s oeuvre from competence and craft to mastery. Messenger is a lesson in how to write poetry that will last. 
  6. ^ Voigt, Ellen Bryant (March 4, 2013). "Owl". The New Yorker. 89 (3): 42–43. Retrieved 2015-05-08. 

External links[edit]