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Ruth Ellen Kocher
American writer

Ruth Ellen Kocher

Ruth Ellen Kocher
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American writer
Is Poet
From United States of America
Field Literature
Gender female
Birth 26 July 1965
Age 57 years
The details (from wikipedia)


Ruth Ellen Kocher (born July 26, 1965 Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania) is an American poet.


Ruth Ellen Kocher (1965-) is an American poet and author of domina Un/blued (Tupelo Press 2013), One Girl Babylon (New Issues Press 2003), When the Moon Knows You’re Wandering, Winner of the Green Rose Prize in Poetry (New Issues Press 2002), and Desdemona’s Fire winner of the Naomi Long Madget Award for African American Poets (Lotus Press 1999). Her poems have been translated into Persian in the Iranian literary magazine She’r and have appeared or are forthcoming in various anthologies including, Angles of Ascent: A Norton Anthology of Contemporary African American Poets, Black Nature, From the Fishouse: An Anthology of Poems that Sing, Rhyme, Resound, Syncopate, Alliterate, and Just Plain Sound Great, An Anthology for Creative Writers: The Garden of Forking Paths, IOU: New Writing On Money, New Bones: Contemporary Black Writing in America. Her work has been published in numerous journals. Her collaborative scholarly work on Frederick Douglass (Miller, Keith D., and Ruth Ellen Kocher. “Shattering Kidnapper's Heavenly Union: Interargumentation in Douglass's Oratory and Narrative.” Hall 1999. 81-87.) has become a staple pedagogical text in slave narrative studies.

Kocher earned her B.A. from Pennsylvania State University in 1990, her MFA from Arizona State University in 1994, and her Ph.D. from Arizona State University in 1999. She has taught at Missouri Western State College, Southern Illinois University and the University of Missouri.

She has been awarded fellowships from the Cave Canem Foundation, the Bucknell Seminar for Younger Poets, and Yaddo. She has taught for the University of Missouri, Southern Illinois University, the New England College Low Residency MFA program, the Indiana Summer Writer’s workshop, and Washington University’s Summer Writing program. She teaches in the Department of English at the University of Colorado-Boulder.


  • 2014 PEN/Open Book, domina Un/blued
  • ???? Dorset Prize, domina Un/blued
  • ???? Green Rose Prize in Poetry, When the Moon Knows You're Wandering
  • ???? Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award, Desdemona's Fire



  • Norton Anthology of Contemporary African American Poets. Charles Rowell, ed. Forthcoming.
  • IOU: New Writing On Money. Ron Slate, ed. [Concord Free Press], Forthcoming.
  • Black Nature. Camille T. Dungy, ed. [University of Georgia Press], Athens Georgia, 2009.
  • From the Fishouse: An Anthology of Poems that Sing, Rhyme, Resound, Syncopate, Alliterate, and Just Plain Sound Great. Camille T. Dungy, Matt O'Donnell, & Jeffrey Thomson eds., Gerald Stern (Foreword), [Persea Books], NY, New York, 2009.
  • The McSweeney’s Book of: Poets Picking Poets, Dominic Luxford, ed. [McSweeney’s Books]: San Francisco, 2007.
  • An Anthology of Creative Writer Garden of Forking Paths. Beth Anstanding and Eric Killough, eds. [Prentice Hall], 2006.
  • Commonwealth: Contemporary Poets on Pennsylvania. Marjorie Maddox, Jerry Wemple eds. Pennsylvania State University Press, 2005.
  • New Bones: Contemporary Black Writers in America. Kevin Quashie, Keith Miller, Joyce Lausch, eds. [Prentice Hall], 2000.

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