Maxine Scates was born in Los Angeles in 1949.  Raised in a working class family, she worked her way through college, graduating from California State University, Northridge, where she took classes from and was encouraged by the poet Ann Stanford. After graduation she moved to Oregon where she earned an MFA from the University of Oregon.

Vern Rutsala, commenting on her most recent book, Undone (2011) writes, “While the language is rich and various the poems are also admirable in the way they confront everyday life with a clear and steady eye, weaving the past and present together seamlessly and giving us views of American society usually ignored in contemporary poetry.” 

In addition to Undone, she is the author of  Toluca Street (1989) and Black Loam (2005).  She is also co-editor of Holding Our Own: The Selected Poems of Ann Stanford (2001), which she edited with another of Stanford’s former students, David Trinidad.  Her poems have been widely published in journals throughout the country, and her work has received the Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize, the Oregon Book Award for Poetry, the Lyre Prize, and a Pushcart Prize. She has taught at Lane Community College, Lewis and Clark College, and most recently Reed College. She has lived in Eugene, Oregon since 1973.
Poems by Maxine Scates
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