- Current Missouri Poet Laureate and Mentor
- MFA in Writing
BiographyWriter/editor WILLIAM TROWBRIDGE, the current Poet Laureate of Missouri, attended the University of Missouri-Columbia, where he earned a BA in Philosophy and an MA in English, and Vanderbilt University, where he earned a PhD in English. His graphic chapbook, Oldguy: Superhero, was published by Red Hen Press in March of 2016, and his seventh full collection, Tilt-A-Whirl, will appear from Red Hen in 2017. His other poetry publications include six full collections: Put This On, Please: New and Selected Poems, Ship of Fool (Red Hen Press, 2014, 2011), The Complete Book of Kong (Southeast Missouri State University Press, 2003), Flickers, O Paradise, and Enter Dark Stranger (University of Arkansas Press, 2000, 1995, 1989), and three chapbooks, The Packinghouse Cantata (Camber Press, 2006), The Four Seasons (Red Dragonfly Press, 2001) and The Book of Kong (Iowa State University Press, l986). His poems have appeared in more than 40 anthologies and textbooks, as well as in such periodicals as Poetry, The Gettysburg Review, Crazyhorse, The Georgia Review, Boulevard, The Southern Review, Columbia, Epoch, The Iowa Review, Prairie Schooner, Plume, and New Letters. His poems have also been in Garrison Keillor’s The Writer’s Almanac and in Ted Kooser’s American Life in Poetry. He has given readings and workshops at schools, colleges, bookstores, and literary conferences throughout the United States. His awards include an Academy of American Poets Prize, a Pushcart Prize, a Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference scholarship, a Camber Press Poetry Chapbook Award, and fellowships from The MacDowell Colony, Ragdale, Yaddo, and The Anderson Center. He is a Distinguished University Professor Emeritus at Northwest Missouri State University, where he was an editor of The Laurel Review from 1986 to 2004. He grew up in Omaha and now lives in the Kansas City area.
“I emphasize sharp observation of the subject and close attention to the nuances of language and form. A love of language, its complexities and possibilities, is an essential trait of a good poet. I try to help students develop their talents both by exposing them to works of selected contemporary poets and by detailed examination of the students’ work. The former is perhaps the most important part of this development. I love to write and to work with those who also love to. I leave theory up to the theorists. And I believe students should see their audience as the educated reading public, not just their social circle or workshop members.”