Ruth Ellen Kocher was born and raised in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. She received a BA from Pennsylvania State University and an MFA and a PhD from Arizona State University.
Kocher is the author of several poetry collections, including Third Voice (Tupelo Press, 2016); domina Un/blued (Tupelo Press, 2013), winner of the PEN Open Book Award and the Dorset Prize; and Desdemona’s Fire (Lotus Press, 1999), winner of the Naomi Long Madgett Award for African American Poets.
Of her work, Bruce Weigl writes, “At the heart of these stunning poems is a precise and imaginative examination of the thin line that separates beauty and terror, wisdom and madness, tolerance and hatred.”
Kocher has received fellowships from the Cave Canem Foundation, The MacDowell Colony, the Vermont Studio Center, Yaddo, and the National Endowment for the Arts. She is a professor of English at the University of Colorado–Boulder, where she also serves as the associate dean for the College of Arts and Sciences and the divisional dean for the arts and humanities. Kocher was the guest editor for Poem-a-Day in August 2019, and lives in Colorado.
Third Voice (Tupelo Press, 2016)
Ending in Planes (Noemi Press, 2014)
Goodbye Lyric: The Gigans and Lovely Gun (Sheep Meadow Press, 2014)
domina Un/blued (Tupelo Press, 2013)
One Girl Babylon (New Issues Press, 2003)
When the Moon Knows You’re Wandering (New Issues Press, 2002)
Desdemona’s Fire (Lotus Press, 1999)