Kelly Cherry

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E-mail Kelly Cherry

Kelly Cherry is Eudora Welty Professor Emerita in English and Evjue-Bascom Professor Emerita in the Humanities at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She has published twenty-one books of fiction (novels, short stories), poetry, and nonfiction (memoir, essay, criticism), nine chapbooks, and translations of two classical plays. A new book of fiction is forthcoming in 2014. Recent titles include The Life and Death of Poetry: Poems, Vectors: J. Robert Oppenheimer: The Years Before the Bomb, The Woman Who, The Retreats of Thought: Poems and Girl in a Library: On Women Writers & The Writing Life. Her short fiction has been reprinted in Best American Short Stories, Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards, The Pushcart Prize, and New Stories from the South, and has won three PEN/Syndicated Fiction Awards. In 2000 her collection The Society of Friends: Stories, received the Dictionary of Literary Biography Award for the best volume of short stories published in 1999. She was the inaugural recipient of the Hanes Poetry Prize given by the Fellowship of Southern Writers for a body of work. Other awards include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Rockefeller Foundation, the Bradley Major Achievement (Lifetime) Award, A USIS Speaker Award (The Philippines), a Distinguished Alumnus Award, three Wisconsin Arts Board fellowships, two WAB New Work awards, and selection as a Wisconsin Notable Author. Her collection Hazard and Prospect: New and Selected Poems was a finalist for The Poets' Prize. In 2010, she was a Director's Visitor at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. In 2012, she received both the Taramuto Prize for a story and the Carole Weinstein Prize for Poetry, and in 2013, the L. E. Phillabaum Poetry Award. Former Poet Laureate of Virginia, she also reviews widely. Her work in fiction, poetry, and nonfiction has been published in nearly two hundred anthologies, and she has published over one hundred reviews. She is currently an Elector of The Poets' Corner at The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine in New York City and a contributing editor to The Hollins Critic.

Kelly Cherry retired in 1999, after twenty-two years (twenty-three in Madison), and in retirement continues to hold her UW titles while also holding named chairs and distinguished writer positions at the University of Alabama Huntsville, Colgate University, Mercer University, Atlantic Center for the Arts, and Hollins University. She continues to give readings widely. She and her husband, Burke Davis III, live on a small farm in Virginia. Further details appear on her Wikipedia page.