Alison Hawthorne Deming

Fellow: Awarded 2015

Field of Study: General Nonfiction

Competition: US & Canada

Website: http://www.alisonhawthornedeming.com/

AHD was born and grew up in Connecticut, where she was steeped in both literary and naturalist traditions. Her most recent book is Zoologies: On Animals and the Human Spirit (Milkweed Editions, 2014). Her first book, Science and Other Poems (LSU, 1994), was selected by Gerald Stern for the Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of American Poets. She is the author of three additional poetry collections: The Monarchs: A Poem Sequence (LSU, 1997), Genius Loci (Penguin, 2005), and Rope (Penguin, 2009); and three additional nonfiction books: Temporary Homelands (Mercury House, 1994; Picador USA, 1996), The Edges of the Civilized World (Picador USA, 1998, finalist for the PEN Center West Award), and Writing the Sacred Into the Real (Milkweed, 2001). She edited Poetry of the American West: A Columbia Anthology (Columbia University Press, 1996) and co-edited with Lauret E. Savoy The Colors of Nature: Essays on Culture, Identity and the Natural World (Milkweed, 2002; revised and expanded edition, 2011). Deming’s small press works include Girls in the Jungle: What Does It Take for a Woman to Survive in the Arts (Kore Press, 1995) and Anatomy of Desire: The Daughter/Mother Sessions (Kore, 2000), a collaboration with her daughter, the artist Lucinda Bliss. A new collection of poems Stairway to Heaven will be out from Penguin in 2016.

Deming received an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts, a Wallace Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University, two poetry fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, and fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the Arizona Commission on the Arts, the Tucson/Pima Arts Council, and a National Writer’s Voice. Her work has been celebrated with the Pablo Neruda Prize from Nimrod, Pushcart Prize, Gertrude B. Claytor Award from the Poetry Society of America, Best Essay Gold Award from the GAMMA Southeastern Magazine Association, and Bayer Award in Science Writing from Creative Nonfiction for the essay “Poetry and Science: A View From the Divide.” She has held residencies at Yaddo, Cummington Community of the Arts, Djerassi Resident Artists Program, Mesa Refuge, The Island Institute in Alaska, Hawthornden Castle International Retreat for Writers, The Hermitage Artist Retreat and the H. J. Andrews Experimental Forest. She has served on the faculty of the Prague Summer Program, Taos Summer Writer’s Conference, University of Montana’s Environmental Writing Institute, Indiana University Writers’ Conference, Wildbranch Writing Workshop, Writers at Work and the Bread Loaf/Orion Environmental Writing Workshop, among many other teaching and speaking venues.

Working with the Language of Conservation Project sponsored by Poets House, Deming curated the poetry installation at the Jacksonville (FL) Zoo and Gardens. Her writing has been widely published and anthologized, including in Ecotone, The Georgia Review, Orion, OnEarth, Southwestern American Literature, Parthenon West, Western Humanities Review, Sierra, Gnosis, Cutthroat, American Poetry Review, Eleven Eleven, Terrain.org, Verse and Universe: Poems on Science and Mathematics, The Norton Book of Nature Writing, and Best American Science and Nature Writing. Former Director of the University of Arizona Poetry Center, she is Agnese Nelms Haury Chair of Environment and Social Justice and Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Arizona. She lives in Tucson, Arizona and Grand Manan, New Brunswick, Canada.

Profile photograph by Cybele Knowles.

Follow this link to view Alison Hawthorne Deming's post-election "Letter to America."