Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Carolyn Guinzio  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Poetry

Audience: Adult;

Born: 1964 in Chicago, Illinois

-- Carolyn Guinzio on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

I was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. I attended Columbia College in Chicago. My first book, ''West Pullman'', winner of the Bordighera Poetry Prize, revolves around the titular far south side neighborhood.

Biographical and Professional Information

Guinzio received a B.A. from Columbia College and an MFA from the Milton Avery School of the Arts at Bard College. She is the author of the books ''West Pullman'', ''Quarry'' and ''Spoke & Dark'' along with the chapbooks ''Untitled Wave'' and ''a liss''. Her work has also appeared in ''Colorado Review'', ''Denver Quarterly'', ''Indiana Review'', ''New American Writing'', ''Smartish Pace'', ''Willow Springs'' and many other journals. Guinzio has received awards from the arts councils of Kentucky and Illinois and the Fund for Poetry. Currently, she is the poetry editor at ''Yew: A Journal of Innovative Writing & Images by Women''. She lives with her husband, the poet Davis McCombs in Fayetteville, AR.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

West Pullman (Bordighera Poetry Prize, 7)
ISBN: 1884419704

Bordighera Press. 2005

Poetry. Translated from the English into the Italian by Franco Nasi. Carolyn Guinzio writes moving poems of great delicacy, balancing opposites and adjacents at once. She also writes a kind of sentence that switches mid-run like a train on its tracks, re-casting its syntax without so much as a how-do-you-do. Through the curtain of birds and insects, or the scrim made of the lives of unadorned citizens, she allows us to 'press so close to the unfamiliar' without making it any less strange. This is a gifted poet's first book"--Susan Wheeler. Guinzio's work has appeared in Colorado Review, Gettysburg Review, Indiana Review, New American Writing, Octopus and Willow Springs among other venues. Franco Nasi teaches Italian Contemporary Literature at the University of Modena.

Quarry (Free Verse Editions)
ISBN: 160235085X

Parlor Press. 2008

Poetry. "Since at least the days of Horace, poets have found in nature, in the local flora and fauna, an invitation to observe, name, meditate and wonder. In QUARRY, Carolyn Guinzio's second collection, this tradition continues, in poems of tautly drawn, subtle eloquence. Her tone is somber, her pace gradual, as if, at any moment, something might happen to alter everything and toss the great endurance of life into ruin, or revelation: 'A tremendous question hangs in the December sky'"--Ann Lauterbach. "These are beautiful poems. Reading them, one begins to weigh what it means to live, with patience and inside language, on the face of this (still) living earth"--Tony Tost.

Spoke & Dark
ISBN: 1597092290

Red Hen Press. 2012

There is no word for the place between the dying hand and the living hand that holds it, but there is a space between those hands. Spoke & Dark dwells there, in the tensions that inhere between one thing & another: lost & found, future & past, life & afterlife. Using typographical symbols (#, /, and especially &) to delineate these phantom spaces, Spoke & Dark explores the wild fluctuations in the nature of the known, searching for a language for the unknowable.


  • 2004 Bordighera Poetry Prize for ''West Pullman''
  • A Room of Her Own/To The Lighthouse Prize for ''Spoke & Dark''

    Speaking Engagements

    Speaking Engagement Availability (No)