David Wojahn

1953 –

David Wojahn was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, on August 22, 1953. He earned his BA at the University of Minnesota and his MFA at the University of Arizona.

Wojahn’s nine collections of poetry are For the Scribe (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2017); World Tree (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2011), the recipient of the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize from the Academy of American Poets; Interrogation Palace: New and Selected Poems 1982–2004 (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2006), a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the winner of the O.B. Hardison Award from the Folger Shakespeare Library; Spirit Cabinet (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2002); The Falling Hour (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1997); Late Empire (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1994); Mystery Train (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1990); Glassworks (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1987); and Icehouse Lights (Yale University Press, 1982), chosen by Richard Hugo as a winner of the Yale Series of Younger Poets prize in 1982.

Of Wojahn’s winning book, Linda Gregerson said:

David Wojahn’s World Tree is a book of consummate vision and artistry. Exquisitely cadenced, politically astute, large of heart, and keen of mind, these are poems of extraordinary moral penetration. They are also a joy to read: David Wojahn is working at the height of his powers.

Wojahn is also the author of a collection of essays on contemporary poetry, Strange Good Fortune (University of Arkansas Press, 2001); editor (with Jack Myers) of A Profile of 20th Century American Poetry (Southern Illinois University Press, 1991); and editor of two posthumous collections of his wife Lynda Hull’s poetry, The Only World (HarperCollins, 1995) and Collected Poems (Graywolf, 2006), co-edited with Mark Doty.

Wojahn’s awards include fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the Virginia, Illinois, and Indiana Councils for the Arts, and an Amy Lowell Traveling Poetry Scholarship.

Wojahn is presently a professor of English at Virginia Commonwealth University and the director of the university’s MFA program. He is also a member of the program faculty of the MFA in writing program at Vermont College of the Fine Arts.