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Photo by Deena November

Ellen McGrath Smith teaches at the University of Pittsburgh and in the Carlow University Madwomen in the Attic program. She holds an MFA in poetry from the University of Pittsburgh and a PhD in Literature from Duquesne University. Her poetry has appeared in The American Poetry Review, Los Angeles Review, Quiddity, Cimarron, and other journals, and in several anthologies, including Beauty Is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability and the Rabbit Ears: TV Poems. Smith has been the recipient of an Orlando Prize from A Room of Her Own Foundation, an Academy of American Poets award, a Rainmaker Award from Zone 3 magazine, and a 2007 Individual Artist grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. Her work has been recognized with two Pushcart nominations, two Best New Poets nominations, and a Best of the Net nomination.


Her second chapbook, Scatter, Feed, was published by Seven Kitchens Press in the fall of 2014, and her full-length collection, Nobody's Jackknife, was in fall 2015 by the West End Press. McGrath Smith's fiction has appeared in Weave, Thumbnail, Switchback, Kestrel, and other journals, and her critical work on women writers, craft, and poetic form has appeared in Sagetrieb, Talking Writing, and Cerise; an article on the public poetics of Adrienne Rich is included in Jayne Cortez, Adrienne Rich, and the Feminist Superheroedited by Laura HintonIn 2023, her experimental chapbook of the Trump era, Lie Low, Goaded Lamb, was published by the Seven Kitchens Press as part of its Keystone Series.

Visit Ellen's blog, Purposeful Groping, here.


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