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Ellen Bryant Voigt. Courtesy Blackbird.

Ellen Bryant Voigt (born 1943) is an American poet and academic.


Voight was born and raised on a family farm,[1] near Chatham,Virginia, the daughter of Missouri (Yeats), a schoolteacher, and farmer Lloyd Gilmore Bryant. She began playing piano at age 4.[2]

She earned a degree from Converse College in 1964, and an M.F.A. from the University of Iowa (where she studied under Donald Justice) in 1966.[2]

Ellen Bryant Voigt, 2015 MacArthur Fellow

Ellen Bryant Voigt, 2015 MacArthur Fellow

She has taught at M.I.T. and Goddard College where in 1976 she developed and directed the nation's earliest low-residency M.F.A. in creative writing program.

She has published 7 collections of poetry and a collection of craft essays. Her poetry has been published in several national publications. .

She resides in Cabot, Vermont. Since 1981 she has taught in the Warren Wilson College MFA Program for Writers.


Stanley Kunitz praised Voight's early work for its “sense of mutability and loss, an abiding set of loyalties, and a fierce attachment to the land,” while Philip Levine stated that her poems “are driven forward by lyrical restraint and by a ferocity of attention.... Her writing has achieved the ambition of great poetry, the contact baptism of newly created things.”[1]


Voigt served as Poet Laureate of Vermont for 4 years, 1999-2003.

In 2003 she was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.




  • The Letter. New York: Poetry in Public Places, 1976.
  • Claiming Kin. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 1976.
  • The Forces of Plenty. New York: Norton, 1983.
  • The Lotus Flowers: Poems. New York: Norton, 1987. ISBN 0-393-02445-8
  • Two Trees: Poems. New York: Norton, 1992.
  • Kyrie: Poems. New York: Norton, 1995.
  • Shadow of Heaven. New York: Norton, 2002.
  • Messenger: New and selected poems, 1976-2006. New York: Norton, 2007.
  • Practice. [St. Joseph, MN?]: One Crow Press, 2009.
  • Headwaters: Poems. New York: Norton, 2013.



  • Poets Teaching Poets: Self and the world (edited with Gregory Orr). Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 1996.
  • Hammer and Blaze: A gathering of contemorary poets. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 2002.

Except where noted, bibliographical information courtesy WorldCat.[3]

'Headwaters' by Ellen Bryant Voigt (You Come Too Poetry Series)

'Headwaters' by Ellen Bryant Voigt (You Come Too Poetry Series)

Poetry@Tech Ellen Bryant Voigt

Poetry@Tech Ellen Bryant Voigt

See alsoEdit


  • "The Author" in The Lotus Flowers: Poems. New York: Norton, 1987. Print.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Ellen Bryant Voigt,, Academy of American Poets. Web, Feb. 3, 2019.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Ellen Bryant Voigt, Enotes. Web, Feb. 3, 2019.
  3. Search results = au:Ellen Bryant Voigt, WorldCat, OCLC Online Computer Library Center Inc. Web, Apr. 6, 2015.

External linksEdit

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