Born in 1970 in Wimbledon, England, Witt moved to the United States in 1977. He studied as an undergraduate at the University of Virginia and went on to receive his MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop. Everlasting Quail was published in 2001 by the University Press of New England. Witt went on to spend a year in Russia as a Fulbright Scholar to work on his second book. Witt has taught at the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Iowa, the New England Institute of Art, Saint Petersburg State University, the University of Missouri at Kansas City, and as a creative writing lecturer in the English Department of Harvard University. He was most recently a member of the faculty at Whitman College.
Books and Awards
Sam Witt's first book, Everlasting Quail, was selected by judge Carol Frost for the Katharine Bakeless Nason Poetry Prize given by the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference run by Middlebury College. His second book, Sunflower Brother, was awarded the Open Competition from the Cleveland State University Poetry Center and was published in 2006 by Cleveland State University Press. Witt won the Dana Award for poetry in 2005. Sam Witt's work has been awarded a number of different awards since then, including: the Meridian Editors' Poetry Prize, 2008; the Briar Cliff Review Poetry Prize, 2008 for "Occupation: Dreamland;" and the Cultural Center of Cape Cod National Poetry Award, for "Dirge for the White Birds. . . ." Most recently, "The Overburden in Hawktime" was chosen by poet Nicky Beer as the winner of the 2012 Pinch Literary Award for Poetry.
- Witt, Sam. (2001). Everlasting Quail. Hanover, N.H.: University Press of New England. ISBN 1584651202
- Witt, Sam. (2007). Sunflower Brother. Cleveland, Ohio: Cleveland State University Poetry Center. ISBN 978-1-880834-74-9
- Jason Stumpf, instructor in the Department of English at Providence College, published a review of Everlasting Quail in a Spring 2006 web symposium on Contemporary Poetry, at http://itdp.providence.edu/Faculty/Stumpf/p_Silva.htm
- Witt's poem 'The Face in a Hospital Bar'
- Witt's poem 'Americana'