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Brigit Pegeen Kelly

Born: 1951 in Palo Alto, California
Died: October 14, 2016 in Urbana-Champaign, Illinois

Pen Name: None

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

Biography: 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.

  • 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

Primary Literary Genre(s): Poetry

Primary Audience(s): Adult readers


Selected Titles

Poems: Song and the Orchard
ISBN: 9781857549799 OCLC: 181069502

Carcanet, Manchester [England] : 2008.

Brigit Pegeen Kelly creates a magical landscape of sound-patterns, myths and surreal encounters, celebrating the mystery and surprise of creation. She is one of the best-loved poets writing in the United States today, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award and for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in Poetry.

ISBN: 1880238136 OCLC: 32211076

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
ISBN: 1929918488 OCLC: 54111507

BOA Editions, Ltd, Rochester, NY : 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.

To the Place of the Trumpets
ISBN: 0300041519 OCLC: 16832369

Yale University Press, New Haven : ©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."