Elizabeth Willis
photo credit: Naomi Yang


Elizabeth Willis

Bio and Publications

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ELIZABETH WILLIS’s most recent book, Address, was published by Wesleyan University Press in 2011. Other works include Meteoric Flowers (Wesleyan, 2006), Turneresque (Burning Deck, 2003); The Human Abstract (Penguin, 1995); and a book-length poem entitled Second Law (Avenue B, 1993).             

Her honors and awards include selection for the National Poetry Series, a Walter N. Thayer Fellowship for the Arts, a grant from the California Arts Council, a fellowship from the Howard Foundation, and a residency at the MacDowell Colony. She has held teaching residencies at University of Denver,  Brown University, and Naropa University.

Beyond her dissertation on Pre-Raphaelite aesthetics (SUNY Buffalo, 1994), Willis has written on 19th- and 20th-century poetry, focusing on the intersections of public and private life, the effects of political and technological developments on poetic production, and the relation of contemporary poets to their sources. Recent prose can be found in Textual Practice, Contemporary Literature, and XCP: Cross-cultural Poetics. Currently she is editing a collection of essays entitled Radical Vernacular: Lorine Niedecker and the Politics of Place.

Willis was born in Bahrain and lived for many years in Wisconsin before moving to western New York.  She taught at various venues in New York, Rhode Island, and California before becoming Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at Mills College from 1997 to 2002. Since 2002 she has taught creative writing and literature at Wesleyan University.



Address. Middletown: Wesleyan University Press, 2011

Meteoric Flowers. Middletown: Wesleyan University Press, 2006

Turneresque. Providence: Burning Deck, 2003. Second printing, 2004

The Human Abstract. New York : Penguin Books, 1995

Second Law. Bolinas, CA : Avenue B, 1993


Chapbooks and limited editions

The Oldest Garden in the World [with Karen Randall]. Northampton: Propolis Press, forthcoming.

The Great Egg of Night. Cambridge: Equipage, 2005. [Collected in Meteoric Flowers 2006.]

Meteoric Flowers. Buffalo: Atticus Finch, 2005. [Excerpt of 2006 book.]

Elegy. Portland, Maine: Oasis Press, 2000.

The Human Abstract IV: A Few Stones For Lorine Niedecker. Buffalo, NY: Buffalo Vortex, 1995.

The Human Abstract. Cambridge: Rosetta [No. 3], 1994.

Loi Deux. Excerpt of Second Law translated into French by Juliette
Valéry. Paris: Bureau sur l’Atlantique, 1994.

A Maiden. Buffalo, NY : Shuffaloff Books, 1992.

A/O. Stockbridge, Mass. : O-blek Editions, The Garlic Press, 1991.