Michele Wolf grew up in Miami, spent much of her life in New York City, and since 2001 has lived in Maryland outside Washington, D.C. A poet, teacher and editor, she holds degrees from Boston University and Columbia. Her most recent poetry book, Immersion (2011, The Word Works), a best-seller for distributor SPD Books, was selected by Denise Duhamel for the Hilary Tham Capital Collection. Wolf’s previous books are Conversations During Sleep (1998, Anhinga Press), winner of the Anhinga Prize for Poetry, selected by Peter Meinke, and The Keeper of Light (1995, Painted Bride Quarterly Poetry Chapbook Series), selected by J.T. Barbarese.
Her poems have appeared widely in literary journals and anthologies, including Poetry, The Hudson Review, Boulevard, North American Review, and The Antioch Review, as well as on Verse Daily and Poetry Daily. A contributing editor for Poet Lore, she has received an Anna Davidson Rosenberg Award and fellowships from Yaddo, the Edward F. Albee Foundation, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of New Mexico, and the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County, Maryland. For several years she served on the administrative staff of the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, where she was also a National Arts Club Scholar in Poetry.
Wolf has been a featured poet or guest lecturer at Johns Hopkins University, American University, Hood College, Florida State University, Miami-Dade College, the University of Tampa, the University of New Mexico, Whittier College, California State University, Long Beach and elsewhere. Since 2002 she has taught at The Writer’s Center in Bethesda, Maryland. She has given more than one hundred readings—at the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival, the Spoleto Festival USA, the Fall for the Book Festival, the Miami Book Fair International, the Los Angeles Book Festival, the Library of Congress, and bookstores, arts centers, and other venues nationwide. Her poetry papers will be part of the Washington Writers’ Archive housed at The George Washington University’s Gelman Library.
Immersion’s “graceful poems consider the connections we have with each other through romantic love, adoption, illness, and death, and examine the relationships forged by blood, culture, chance, and choice, with deft and elegant imagery,” writes Laura Orem, Best American Poetry website blogger, in Innisfree Poetry Journal. “The result is a brilliant interlocking of stories and images that is greater than the sum of its parts (which is not to disparage the excellence of those parts). Sometimes collections can feel like just that: just collections of individual pieces. Immersion's careful arrangement creates a larger whole, as beautiful and complicated as a Roman mosaic."
Notes Pulitzer Prize winner Yusef Komunyakaa: “Music, a paced meditation, one moment in poetic time changed by another, again and again—this is the tissue of Immersion, the active silences breathing underneath, holding the shaped telling together.” Adds poet Denise Duhamel: “Immersion is a complex, gorgeous book…an incredibly important book of poetry.”
Regarding her previous collection, Conversations During Sleep, former U.S. poet laureate Ted Kooser writes: “Michele Wolf’s poems…are borne on meticulously charged language, and that energy, burning brightly in every line, makes all the difference. These are fine poems—savvy, artful, and generous.”
Michele Wolf lives with her husband and daughter in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Her website is http://michelewolf.com.
Written by Michele Wolf September 2013