Melissa Kwasny

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Poet Laureate of Montana, 2019–2021

Melissa Kwasny is the author of seven books of poetry, including The Cloud Path (Milkweed Editions, 2024); Where Outside the Body Is the Soul Today (University of Washington Press, 2017); Pictograph (Milkweed Editions, 2015); and The Nine Sense (Milkweed Editions, 2009), as well as the collection of essays Earth Recitals: Essays on Image and Vision (Lynx House Press, 2013).

The recipient of the Poetry Society of America’s Cecil Hemley and Alice Fay di Castognola awards, she is also the editor of Toward the Open Field: Poets on the Art of Poetry 1800–1950 (Wesleyan University Press, 2004) and coeditor, with M. L. Smoker of I Go to the Ruined Place: Contemporary Poets in Defense of Global Human Rights (Lost Horse Press, 2009).

Kwasny shared the position of Montana Poet Laureate with Smoker from 2019 to 2021. In 2021, Kwasny and Smoker were named Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellows. Kwasny lives outside of Jefferson City, Montana, in the Elkhorn Mountains.