Ellen Bryant Voigt ’64, MacArthur Fellow, Pulitzer Prize finalist, and former Poet Laureate of Vermont recently published a definitive collection of more than five decades of work.
David Baker from the Los Angeles Review of Books describes Voigt as “one of the most significant poets writing today.”
Voigt graduated from Converse with a degree in English, though when she first began college, her dream was to become a high school band director. “I came to Converse because of the [Petrie] School of Music, and had not even written my first poem,” Voigt said. “The faculty members of the English department ignited that spark.”
Converse welcomed Voigt back to campus as an Elizabeth Boatwright Coker Visiting Writer in 2003, and she delivered the 2007 Converse commencement address. In 2016, Voigt gave the keynote address at Founder’s Day.
Voigt is the author of nine poetry collections, including Messenger: New and Selected Poems 1976-2006, which was selected as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. Voigt has published two books on craft, The Flexible Lyric and The Art of Syntax and Poets Teaching Poets: Self and the World.
Converse’s English program cultivates critical workplace skills, including reading analytically and communicating articulately. Converse English students explore historical and contemporary literature, while developing skills to express ideas effectively and confidently.