Ellery Akers

Poet, children’s writer, and naturalist Ellery Akers earned a BA at Harvard University and an MA at San Francisco State University. She is the author of two poetry collections: Practicing the Truth (2015), which won the Autumn House Poetry Prize, and Knocking on the Earth (1988), which was chosen for the Wesleyan New Poets series. Her work has been featured in former US Poet Laureate Ted Kooser’s syndicated newspaper column, “American Life in Poetry” and in the anthology Intimate Nature: The Bond Between Women and Animals (1998). She is the author of a children’s novel Sarah’s Waterfall: A Healing Story about Sexual Abuse (2009).

Plainspoken, Akers’s unflinching poems investigate grief and joy as they explore the human condition. In her essay “On Writing: Feeding the Lake,” Akers stated, “I believe the process of poetry is mysterious. Jung once said that poets carry the soul of the culture, and I think good poems do reflect a kind of psychic development that transcends craft or competence.”

Her honors include the Poetry International Prize, the John Masefield Award, the Paumanok Award, and Sierra magazine’s Nature Writing Award; fellowships and residencies from the MacDowell Colony, Blue Mountain Center, and Headlands Center for the Arts; and a grant from the Marin Arts Council.

Akers lives in Marin County, California.

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POET’S REGION U.S., Western

Biography

Poet, children’s writer, and naturalist Ellery Akers earned a BA at Harvard University and an MA at San Francisco State University. She is the author of two poetry collections: Practicing the Truth (2015), which won the Autumn House Poetry Prize, and Knocking on the Earth (1988), which was chosen for the Wesleyan New Poets series. Her work has been featured in former US Poet Laureate Ted Kooser’s syndicated newspaper column, . . .

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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