Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Charlotte Pence  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Poetry

Audience: Adult;


-- Website --
-- Charlotte Pence on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Pence is a professor of English at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston.

Biographical and Professional Information

Charlotte Pence's poetry merges the personal with the scientific by engaging with current evolutionary theory. Her first full-length poetry collection, ''Many Small Fires'', explores her father's chronic homelessness while simultaneously detailing the physiological changes that enabled humans to form cities, communities, and households. A professor of English and creative writing at Eastern Illinois University, she is also the author of two award-winning poetry chapbooks including [ ''The Branches, The Axe, The Missing'',] and the editor of [ ''The Poetics of American Song Lyrics'']. Her poetry has recently been published in ''Alaska Quarterly Review'', ''Denver Quarterly'', ''North American Review'', ''Prairie Schooner'', and ''The Southern Poetry Anthology''.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

ISBN: 0757510868

Kendall Hunt Publishing. 2004

Book by Charlotte Pence

Many Small Fires
ISBN: 1625579187

Black Lawrence Press. 2015

Poetry. "In this marvelous debut collection, Charlotte Pence provides us with all the pleasures of poetic tension. We have the pull of narrative and the flares of the lyric, the graceful rhythm of blank verse and the thrill of innovative forms, the contest for survival both between a father and a daughter and between Homo Sapiens and other species within our genus. The poems explore the idea of survival, not only the survival of a speaker who transcends a precarious childhood but, for example, a 'juvenile male bear with his head stuck in a plastic Walmart candy jar' who 'learned to drink by laying down in shallow streams.' In language that is sometimes word-crunchy and dense, sometimes delightfully simple ('In her small life, she is happier than before'), Pence's MANY SMALL FIRES is a beautiful, necessary book. Come, warm your hands."—Beth Ann Fennelly


Discovered Voices Pushcart nominations New Millennium Writing award

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)