Chitwood was born in Rocky Mount, Virginia, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. He earned a B.A. in English from Emory & Henry College in Emory, Virginia, in 1980. He then worked as a science writer for the University of Virginia Medical Center, becoming assistant of Helix magazine. Enrolling in the University of Virginia as a full-time student, he earned an M.F.A. in 1986.
In 1986 he moved to North Carolina, working as a science and medical writer at Duke University Medical Center, and then at Research Triangle Institute, where he edited the magazine Hypotenuse. He quit to become a freelance writer and full-time father after the birth of his son.
His poetry and fiction have appeared in Poetry, The New Republic, Threepenny Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, Field, the Georgia Review, and many other journals. His book reviews and articles have appeared in newspapers and magazines such as the Greensboro News & Record, the Charlotte Observer, and the Raleigh News & Observer magazine.
He lives with his wife and 2 children in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where he is a freelance writer, and a lecturer in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He also delivers commentary on WUNC-FM radio.
His 2002 poetry collection Gospel Road Going won the Roanoke-Chowan Prize for Poetry.
- Martyrdom of the Onions (chapbook). Troy, ME: Nightshade Press, 1991.
- Salt Works: Poems. Athens, OH: Ohio Review Books, 1992.
- Whet: Poems. Athens, OH: Ohio Review Books, 1995.
- The Weave Room. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998.
- Gospel Road Going: Poems. Chapel Hill, NC: Tryon, 2002.
- From Whence: Poems. Baton Rouge, LA: Louisiana State University Press, 2007.
- Spill: Poems. Dorset, VT: Tupelo Press, 2007.
- Poor-Mouth Jubilee: Poems. North Adams, MA: Tupelo Press, 2010.
- Living Wages: Poems. North Adams, MA: Tupelo Press, 2014.
- Hitting Below the Bible Belt: Baptist voodoo, blood kin, Grandma's teeth, and other stories from the south. Asheboro, NC: Down Home Press, 1998.
- Finishing Touches (essays & stories). Chapel Chapel Hill, NC: Tryon, 2006.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Michael Chitwood, Poetry Foundation. Web, Sep. 24, 2016.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Michael Chitwood reads from his collection of poetry Poor-Mouth Jubilee, Flyleaf Books, 2010. Web, Sep. 26, 2016.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Michael Chitwood, English & Comparative Literature, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. Web, Sep. 26, 2016.
- ↑ Michael Chitwood, Blackbird I:1 (Spring 2002). Web, Sep. 26, 2016.
- ↑ Search results = au:Michael Chitwood, WorldCat, OCLC Online Computer Library Center Inc. Web, Sep. 26, 2016.
- "Heat" at Poetry 180
- Michael Chitwood at the Poetry Foundation
- Michael Chitwood 2 poems at the Academy of American Poets
- Michael Chitwood at Blackbird I:1 (2 poems)
- Michael Chitwood at Blackbird VI:2 (2 poems)
- Michael Chitwood at PoemHunter (24 poems)
- Audio / video
- Michael Chitwood at Amazon.com
- Michael Chitwood at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
- Why I Think Michael Chitwood Stinks, The Delay blog
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