Denise Low

poet laureate icon
Poet Laureate of Kansas, 2007–2009

Denise Low was born in 1949 in Emporia, Kansas. She received her BA, MA, and PhD in English from the University of Kansas and her MFA in creative writing from Wichita State University.

Low is the author of thirty-five books of poetry and prose. Her most recent poetry collections are Wing (Red Mountain Press, 2021); Shadow Light (Red Mountain Press, 2018); A Casino Bestiary (Spartan Press, 2017); Mélange Block (Red Mountain Press, 2014); and Ghost Stories of the New West (Woodley Memorial Press, 2010).

Low, who is of mixed German, British, unaffiliated Lenape and Cherokee heritage, frequently examines Native heritage and the intersection of Native and settler heritages in her work.

From 2008 to 2013, Low was a member of the national board of Associated Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) and served as its president from 2011 to 2012. She served as the poet laureate of Kansas from 2007 to 2009. Low has taught at the University of Kansas and the University of Richmond, as well as at Haskell Indian Nations University, where she founded the creative writing program. She currently teaches at Baker University’s School of Professional and Graduate Studies in Baldwin City, Kansas, and lives in Lawrence, Kansas.