Deborah Digges

1950 –

Deborah Digges was born on February 6, 1950, in Jefferson City, Missouri. She received degrees from the University of California and the University of Missouri, as well as an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

Digges is the author of four books of poetry, including The Wind Blows Through the Doors of My Heart (Alfred A. Knopf, 2010) and Rough Music (Alfred A. Knopf, 1995), winner of the Kingsley Tufts Prize. Her first book, Vesper Sparrows (Carnegie-Melon University Press, 1986), won the Delmore Schwartz Memorial Prize from New York University. Digges has also written two memoirs, The Stardust Lounge: Stories from a Boy’s Adolescence (Knopf Doubleday, 2001) and Fugitive Spring (Knopf, 1992).

When asked by the New York Times to name a book of poetry published in the last twenty-five years that has been personally meaningful, Sharon Olds responded that Digges’s Trapeze “is a book that sort of threw me to my knees ... a book that shows me how much truth, and feel-of-truth—embodying profound complex mourning—can be sung.”

Digges received grants from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Ingram Merrill Foundation. She has taught in the graduate writing divisions of New York University, Boston University, and Columbia University. She lived in Amherst, Massachusetts, and was a professor of English at Tufts University at the end of her life.

Digges died near Amherst on April 10, 2009.