Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Brigit Pegeen Kelly  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Poetry

Audience: Adult;

Born: 1951 in Palo Alto, California

Died: October 14, 2016 in Urbana-Champaign, Illinois

-- Brigit Pegeen Kelly on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Kelly lived in Central Illinois and taught in the creative writing program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Biographical and Professional Information

Brigit Pegeen Kelly taught at the University of California at Irvine, Purdue University, and Warren Wilson College. She also taught numerous writers' conferences in the United States and Ireland. She was a professor of English at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. In 2002 the University of Illinois awarded her both humanities and campus-wide awards for excellence in teaching.In 2005 Orchard was a finalist for the Pulitzer.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

To the Place of the Trumpets (Yale Series of Younger Poets)
ISBN: 0300041519

Yale University Press. 1988

The winning volume in the 1987 Yale Series of Younger Poets competition is To the Place of Trumpets. As James Merrill, distinguished poet and judge of the competition, has said: "Brigit Pegeen Kelly's poems suggest a kind of folk art-their clay washed of narrative grit, serviceably turned and fancifully decorated, fired, then filled at the creative instinct's oldest well. It is a pleasure to drink form this fine local pottery."

ISBN: 1880238136

BOA Editions. 1995

Winner of the 1994 Lamont Poetry selection of The Academy of American Poets. "Kelly has a talent for coaxing out the world's ghosts and then fixing them in personal landscapes of fear and uncertainty.... Smoothed by nuances of sound and rhythm, her poems exude an ambiguous wisdom, an acceptance of the sad magic that returns us constantly to the lives we might have led."--Library Journal

The Orchard (American Poets Continuum)
ISBN: 1929918488

BOA Editions Ltd.. 2004

Richly allusive, the poems in Brigit Pegeen Kelly’s The Orchard evoke elements of myth in distinctive aural and rhythmic patterns. Her poetic strength lies in her ability to cast poems as modern myths and allegories. Propelled by patterned repetitions and lush cadences, the poems move the reader through a landscape where waking and dream consciousness fuse.

Brigit Pegeen Kelly teaches creative writing at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her poetry collections are Song (BOA Editions), the 1994 Lamont Poetry Selection of The Academy of American Poets and a finalist for the 1995 Los Angeles Times Book Award, and To the Place of Trumpets, selected by James Merrill for the 1987 Yale Series of Younger Poets Prize.

Poems: Song and the Orchard
ISBN: 1857549791

Carcanet Press Ltd. 2008

Rare book


To The Place of Trumpets

  • Yale Younger Poets Award, selected by James Merrill, 1986
  • Song

  • Lamont Poetry Selection, American Academy of American Poets, 1994
  • The Orchard

  • Finalist, Pulitzer Prize in Poetry, 2005
  • Finalist, Los Angeles Times Book Award in Poetry, 2005
  • Finalist, National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry, 2005
  • Other Awards and Honors

  • Discovery/The Nation Poetry Prize, 1986
  • Finalist, Los Angeles Times Book Prize in Poetry, 1995
  • Whiting Award, 1996
  • Witter Bynner Poetry Prize, American Academy of Arts and Letters, 1999
  • National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, 2005
  • Fellowship, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, 2006
  • Fellowship, Academy of American Poets, 2008