Michael Collier

The current director of  Robert Frost’s legendary Bread Loaf  Conference in Vermont and Houghton Mifflin Publisher’s new poetry series editor, Michael Collier was named Poet Laureate of Maryland by Governor Glendening in February 2001. His books include The Neighbor  (1995), The Folded Heart (1989), The Clasp and Other Poems (1986), and most recently, The Ledge (2000) which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Mr. Collier edited The Wesleyan Tradition: Four Decades of American Poetry (1993) and The New American Poets: A Bread Loaf Anthology (2000). He also co-edited The New Bread Loaf Anthology of Contemporary American Poetry (Bread Loaf Anthology) (1999) with Stanley Plumly.  He has received the Guggenheim and Thomas Watson Fellowships, two NEA Fellowships, a "Discovery" /The Nation Award, the Alice Fay di Castagnola Award from the Poetry Society of America, and a Pushcart Prize. His poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The Nation, The New Republic, and Poetry.

For the past two decades Michael Collier's poems have been appearing in the Atlantic Monthly, The Nation, the New Republic, The New Yorker, Ploughshares, Poetry and many other magazines and periodicals. He has published three collections of poetry, The Clasp and Other Poems, The Folded Heart, and The Neighbor. In addition, he edited three highly acclaimed anthologies, The Wesleyan Tradition: Four Decades of Contemporary American Poetry, The New Bread Loaf Anthology of Contemporary American Poetry (co edited with Stanley Plumly), and The New American Poets: A Bread Loaf Anthology. Collier has received a Pushcart Prize, two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Alice Fay di Castagnola Prize from the Poetry Society of America and a Discovery/The Nation Award. Seminal to his development as a poet were the Thomas J. Watson Traveling Fellowship and a residency fellowship at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. Since 1995 Collier has served as the sixth director of the 75-year-old Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, where he has helped to revitalize one of America's most valuable literary institutions. Collier has taught at George Mason University, the Johns Hopkins University, and Yale University. He is a member of the writing faculty of the Warren Wilson College MFA Program for Writers. His primary affiliation is with the Department of English, University of Maryland, where he is co director of the Creative Writing Program. 

"Michael Collier's genius for depicting the world of things starkly illuminates the spiritual hungers that drive human making and the intricate, at times brutal, psychological mechanisms that underpin our domestic and social arrangements." Tom Sleigh

The New York Times Book Review,
“Collier ... lays language like a transparency onto his experiences. Collier's voice in The Ledge is consistently that of one thoughtful, reasonable father talking to another--and maybe, some years from now, to the son who has finally become a father himself
.” John Ponyicsanyi

“Michael Collier’s articulation of a merged vision (that has a masculine perspective)  but is really a microscope into the nature of things around all of us, is at once visceral and concrete and metaphysical - in the best kind of way our imagination can lead us to an epiphany about who we really are as humans.” Chezia Thompson Cager- Director, Spectrum of Poetic Fire