Marilyn Nelson

Marilyn Nelson is one of America’s most celebrated poets. She is the author or translator of some twenty poetry books and chapbooks for adults, young adults, and children. Of her many collections, The Homeplace won the 1992 Annisfield-Wolf Award and was a finalist for the 1991 National Book Award. The Fields Of Praise: New And Selected Poems won the 1998 Poets’ Prize and was a finalist for the 1997 National Book Award, the PEN Winship Award, and the Lenore Marshall Prize. The poems in this collection embrace numerous themes, including the changing natures of love, racism, motherhood, marriage, and domesticity. Carver: A Life In Poems won the 2001 Boston Globe/Hornbook Award and the Flora Stieglitz Straus Award, was a finalist for the 2001 National Book Award, a Newbery Honor Book, and a Coretta Scott King Honor Book. Fortune’s Bones was a Coretta Scott King Honor Book and won the Lion and the Unicorn Award for Excellence in North American Poetry. A Wreath For Emmett Till won the 2005 Boston Globe Horn Book Award and was a 2006 Coretta Scott King Honor Book, a 2006 Michael L. Printz Honor Book, and a 2006 Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award Honor Book. The Cachoiera Tales And Other Poems won the L.E. Phillabaum Award and was a finalist for the LA Times Book Award. In 2016, her poetry collection My Seneca Village won the LA Times Book Award in Young Adult Literature.

Nelson’s honors include two NEA creative writing fellowships, the 1990 Connecticut Arts Award, a Fulbright Teaching Fellowship (in the South of France!), a fellowship from the J.S. Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the Ruth Lilly Award, the Robert Frost Medal, and the Wallace Stevens Award. She has served as a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, as Poet-in-Residence of the Poets Corner at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, and as the Poet Laureate of the State of Connecticut. The mother of two and grandmother of two, she lives quietly, retired from a long career in academia, with her daughter and three cats.