Melissa Kwasny is the author of six books of poetry, most recently Where Outside the Body is the Soul Today (University of Washington Press Pacific Northwest Poetry Series) and Pictograph (Milkweed Editions), as well as a collection of prose writings, Earth Recitals: Essays on Image and Vision (Lynx House Press). She is the editor of Toward the Open Field: Poets on the Art of Poetry 1800–1950 (Wesleyan University Press) and co-editor, with M.L. Smoker, of the anthology I Go to the Ruined Place: Contemporary Poets in Defense of Global Human Rights (Lost Horse Press). Recently published by Trinity University Press, Putting on the Dog: The Animal Origins of What We Wear is her first book of nonfiction.
Widely published in journals, including Willow Springs, Threepenny Review, Ploughshares, American Poetry Review, Gettysburg Review, Orion, Bellingham Review, Kenyon Review, and Boston Review, her poems and essays are also included in the anthologies The Arcadia Project: North American Postmodern Pastoral (Josh Corey and G.C. Waldrep, eds.), Montana Women Writers: A Geography of the Heart (Carolyn Patterson, editor), Poems Across the Big Sky and New Poets of the American West (both edited by Lowell Jaeger), as well as in West of 98: Living and Writing the American West (Russell Rowland and Lynn Stegner, eds.)
The recipient of the Poetry Society of America’s Cecil Hemley Award and Alice Fay di Castognola Award for a work in progress, the Montana Art Council’s Artist’s Innovation Award, and residencies at Vermont Studio Center, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Hedgebrook, Ucross, and the Headlands Center for the Arts, Kwasny has taught as Visiting Writer at both the undergraduate and graduate level, including at the University of Wyoming, Eastern Washington University/Inland Pacific Center for Writers, and as the University of Montana.
She lives outside of Jefferson City, Montana, in the Elkhorn Mountains.