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Alison C. Rollins was awarded a 2023-2024 Harvard Radcliffe Institute Fellowship and named a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellow in 2019. In 2021, her essay "Dispatch from the Racial Mountain" was selected by contest judge Kiese Laymon as the winner of the Gulf Coast prize in nonfiction. Her work, across genres, has appeared or is forthcoming in American Poetry Review, Black Warrior Review, Iowa ReviewThe New York Times Magazineand elsewhere. A Cave Canem and Callaloo fellow, she was a 2016 recipient of the Poetry Foundation’s Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship. In 2018, she was a recipient of the Rona Jaffe Writers' Award and in 2020, the winner of a Pushcart Prize. Her debut poetry collection, Library of Small Catastrophes (Copper Canyon Press, 2019) was a 2020 Hurston/Wright Foundation Legacy Award nominee. Rollins holds an MFA from Brown University and is an assistant professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

selected nonfiction publications

Brick - A Literary Journal [110, Winter 2023] "Birds of Prey"  

Gulf Coast [Volume 34, Issue 1 Winter/Spring 2022] "Dispatch from the Racial Mountain" *selected by contest judge Kiese Laymon as the 2021 winner of the Gulf Coast Nonfiction Prize


Poetry - Harriet: A Poetry Blog [April 21, 2017] "How an Antihero Learns to Die: Living as Poet and Librarian" 

selected Poetry PUBLICATIONS 

American Poetry Review [Volume 46, No. 3] "Elephants Born Without Tusks"

The Missouri Review [August 21, 2017] "Character Building

New England Review [Volume 39, No. 3] "Five and a Possible"

The New York Times Magazine [November 25, 2019] "Self-Portrait of Librarian With T.S. Eliot's Papers"

The Offing [March 15, 2017] "In Whose Image?"  "Invisible Architecture" 

Poetry [September 2018] "Object Permanence

Poetry [June 2016] "Why Is We Americans" 

Poetry [November 2016] "original [sin]"   "Free Radical" 

Poetry [April 2017] "The BeastAngel"   "What The Lyric Be" 

The Poetry Magazine Podcast [November 7, 2016] "Weekly Podcast for November 7, 2016: Alison C. Rollins reads 'original [sin]'"

Harriet: A Poetry Blog [April 20, 2017] "'What the Lyric Be': A Playlist for Poetry's April 2017 Issue"

River Styx [Issue 96] "Water No Get Enemy" 

Solstice [Spring 2017] "Elegy For A Broken Part" 

TriQuarterly [July 17, 2017] "A Rock Trying to Stand" "Public Domain" "Develop the Negatives

Tupelo Quarterly [October 14, 2016] "Skinning Ghosts Alive" 

Vinyl [February 21, 2016] "A Woman Of Means"   "A Glimpse Of An Island"   "How Does It Feel"   "The Day The Wolves Came"

selected interviews

selected podcast appearances

The VS Podcast [February 1, 2022] "Roll Call: Breaking the Line: A conversation about Black visual poetics"

The Poetry Magazine Podcast [November 24, 2020] "Alison C. Rollins and Latria Graham in Conversation"

selected press coverage

Ms. Magazine [April 9, 2019] "Poetry for the Rest of Us"

BuzzFeed News [March 19, 2019] "37 Amazing New Books To Add To Your Spring Reading List

Publishers Weekly [August 28, 2018] "Rona Jaffe Award Winners Announced for 2018"

ALIVE Magazine [October 4, 2017] "St. Louis' Acclaimed Self-Taught Poet, Alison C. Rollins"

St. Louis Pubic Radio [September 2, 2016] "St. Louis poet Alison Rollins wins national poetry prize"

St. Louis Post-Dispatch [September 1, 2016] "Nerinx librarian wins prominent poetry fellowship"

Ladue News [December 29, 2016] "Boots on the Ground" 

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Cave Canem New Works Reading: Alison C. Rollins, Amber Flora Thomas, Mitchell L. H. Douglas 

[April 9, 2019] at The New School (New York, NY) 

Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) Conference: "That Which Makes Us: New Poetry from Copper Canyon Press": Alison C. Rollins, Natalie Scenters-Zapico, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Arthur Sze 

[March 29, 2019] (Portland, OR) 

Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Awards Reading: Alison C. Rollins, Chelsea Baker, Lisa Chen, Lydia Conklin, Gabriela Garcia, Karen Outen

[September 14, 2018] at New York University, Lilian Vernon Creative Writers House (New York, NY)

POETRY Spring Party: Alison C. Rollins, Keith S. Wilson, & Emily Jungmin Yoon 

[May 17, 2017] at the Poetry Foundation (Chicago, IL) 

100 Boots Poetry Series: Lyn Hejinian & Alison C. Rollins

[January 27, 2017] at Pulitzer Arts (St. Louis, MO)

The 30th Anniversary Dodge Poetry Festival 

  • "Poetry Sampler" with Honorée Fanonne Jeffers, Li-Young Lee, Stephanie Lenox, Robin Coste Lewis, Katha Pollitt, Alison C. Rollins, Vijay Seshadri, Tim Seibles, Aaron Smith, Gary Snyder, Javier Zamora 

  • "From Homer to Hip Hop: Poetry and the Oral Tradition" with Jonterri Gadson, Roberto Carlos Garcia, Marty McConnell, Alison C. Rollins

  • "Poems and Conversation: Readings and Q & A" with Jonterri Gadson, Marty McConnell, Alison C. Rollins, Safiya Sinclair

  • "Poetry Foundation: Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellows" with Kaveh Akbar, Jos Charles, Angel Nafis, Alison C. Rollins, Javier Zamora

[October 20-23, 2016] at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (Newark, NJ)

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Rivers Styx Reading 2020
2018 RJF Winners
Oxford University (UK)
Pulitzer Arts Foundation Reading
Poetry Foundation Playing Cards
2016 Poetry Foundation Fellows
Reading at the Poetry Foundation
2016 Dodge Poetry Panel
2016 Cave Canem Cohort
Alison C. Rollins Writing
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