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Marilyn Kallet

Marilyn Kallet

Professor Emerti


Marilyn Kallet was born in Montgomery, Alabama, and grew up in New York; this tension between North and South is one of the themes in her poetry.   Her degrees are from Tufts, the Sorbonne, and Rutgers (Ph.D. in Comparative Literature.) Kallet has published sixteen books, including six volumes of poetry, translations, critical essays, children’s books, pedagogy, and anthologies of women’s literature.   In addition to teaching at the University of Tennessee, she teaches a poetry workshop for the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts at their site in Auvillar, France.  Among other honors, she has won the Tennessee Arts Commission Literary Fellowship in poetry, and was inducted into the East Tennessee Literary Hall of Fame in poetry, 2005; the Knoxville YWCA named her Woman of Achievement in the Arts, 2000; she was awarded an Honorary Woodrow Wilson Fellowship.  Kallet has performed her poetry on campuses and in theaters across the United States, in France and in Warsaw and Krakow, as a guest of the U.S. Embassy’s “America Presents” cultural arts program.


B.A. with Honors in English and French, Tufts University, 1968.
Diplôme Supérieur, Cours de Civilisation, The Sorbonne, 1967.
M.A, Comparative Literature, Rutgers University, 1976.
Ph.D. Comparative Literature, Rutgers University, 1978.


  • How Our Bodies Learned.  Black Widow Press, 2018.
  • Disenchanted City, Chantal Bizzini. Eds., M. Kallet and J.B Anderson; Trans. J.B. Anderson, D. Jackson, M. Kallet. Boston: Black Widow Press, 2015
  • The Love that Moves Me.  Black Widow Press, 2013.
  • Trans. The Big Game.  Benjamin Péret.  Black Widow Press, 2011.
  • Packing Light: New and Selected Poems. Black Widow Press, 2009.
  • The Movable Nest: A Mother/Daughter Companion, co-ed., K.S.Byer Helicon Nine Editions, 2007.
  • Jack The Healing Cat (Children’s Book).  Celtic Cat Publishing, 2009 (also Telico Books/Iris Press, 2007).
  • Trans. Last Love Poems of Paul Eluard, New Edition  (Louisiana State University Press, 1981; new edition Boston: Black Widow Press, 2006.)
  • Circe, After Hours (BkMk Press, University of Missouri/Kansas City), 2005
  • The Art of College Teaching: 28 Takes, co-edited with April Morgan (University of Tenn. Press), 2005
  • One For Each Night: Chanukah Tales and Recipes (Celtic Cat Publishing, 2004)
  • Sleeping with One Eye Open: Women Writers and the Art of Survival, co-edited with Judith Ortiz Cofer (University of Georgia Press, 1999)
  • Worlds in Our Words: Contemporary American Women Writers, co-edited with Patricia Clark (Blair Press/Prentice Hall, 1996)
  • How To Get Heat Without Fire (New Messenger/New Millennium Writings, 1996)
  • ed., A House of Gathering: Poets on May Sarton’s Poetry (University of Tennessee Press, 1993)
  • Honest Simplicity in William Carlos Williams’ “Asphodel, That Greeny Flower” (Louisiana State University Press, 1985)
  • In the Great Night (Ithaca House, 1981)
  • Devils Live So Near (Ithaca House, 1977).


Personal essays

  • “A Healing Journey,” Tennessee Alumnus (Fall 2004), 38-40
  • “The One and Only X. J. Kennedy,” Paintbrush: A Journal of Poetry and Translation XXV (1998), 139-141
  • “My Short But Happy Reign as a Knoxville Slam Queen,” Now & Then: The Appalachian Magazine 15:2 (1998), 11-13.

Poetry in New Letters; The Greenfield Review; Ironwood; Seneca Review; Primer; The Slow Loris Reader; Tar River Poetry; Carolina Quarterly; Sinister Wisdom; Poets On; Sulfur; Earth’s Daughters; Tendril; The Louisville Review; The Croton Review; Confrontation; The Greensboro Review; Sonora Review; Denver Quarterly; Men & Women Together & Alone (The Spirit That Moves Us Press); The Widener Review; Bubbe Meisehs by Shayneh Maidelehs: An Anthology of Poetry by Jewish Granddaughters about Our Grandmothers (Herbooks); SlipstreamFine China: Twenty Years of Earth’s Daughters (Springhouse Editions); Life on the Line: Selections on Words & Healing (Negative Capability Press); Voices from the Valley; The Ledge; Tennessee Poems and Plays; Yemassee; Now & Then; Hawaii Review; International Quarterly; A Tennessee Landscape, People and Places; Home Works (Tennessee Arts Commission); All Around Us: Poems from The Valley; Sport LiterateAlways At Home Here: Poems and Insights from Six Tennessee PoetsPrairie SchoonerAsheville Poetry Review; Prosodia; Whole Terrain; Many Mountains Moving: Issue on Spirituality; Connecticut Review; Isotope; The Yahlobusha ReviewPotomac ReviewIron Horse Literary ReviewKnoxville BoundBest of Asheville Poetry Review: 1994-2004Migrants & StowawaysLiterary Lunch.

Professional Service

  • Poetry Workshop Leader, VCCA-France, Auvillar, France. 2009-present
  • Director, Young Writers’ Institute, 1993-present
  • Tennessee Humanities Council Board, online magazine, Chapter 16, 2009-present
  • Advisory Board, Americana: Journal of Popular Literature, 2005-present
  • Virginia Center for the Creative Arts Poetry Fellows Selection  Panelist, 2000-present
  • Judge, Poetry Out Loud, State Finals, Nashville, March 31, 2012
  • Tennessee Arts Commission Literary Advisory Board, 2010 & 2011
  • Outside Reviewer, Wesleyan University Press,  2010.
  • Outside Reviewer, Wayne State University Visiting Writer grant, Indiana Arts Council, 2010.
  • Contributing Editor, New Works Review, 2008-2009
  • Board of Directors, Knoxville Writers’ Guild, 1995 –1998
  • Board of Directors, Tennessee Studies in Literature, 1994
  • Board of Directors, UT Press, 1993-95
  • Secretary, Tennessee Writers Alliance, 1994-1996
  • Board of Directors, Tennessee Writers Alliance, 1991-1996
  • Tennessee Arts Commission Literary Fellowship in Poetry, 1989
  • Literary Panel Advisory Board Member, Tennessee Arts Commission, 1988-90
  • Editor, New Millenium Writings.

Awards, Honors & Grants

  • College of Arts and Sciences Outreach Award, 2012
  • Lindsay Young Professor, 2006-2011
  • James R. and Nell W. Cunningham Outstanding Teaching Award, College of Arts & Sciences, 2010
  • Hodges Chair for Distinguished Teaching, 2003-2006
  • East Tennessee Literary Hall of Fame in Poetry, 2005
  • Chancellor’s Award for Research and Creative Achievement, 2002
  • YWCA Tribute to Women, Woman of Achievement in the Arts, 2000
  • National Alumni Association Outstanding Teacher Award, 2000
  • Pushcart Prize Nominee (13 nominations since 1999)
  • Tennessee Arts Commission Literary Fellowship in Poetry, 1989
  • UT Alumni Public Service Award, 1995
  • College of Arts & Sciences Public Service Award, 1994
  • Libba Moore Gray Poetry Prize, Knoxville Writers Guild, March, 1992
  • Amon Carter Evans Tennessee Tomorrow Award for, 1983
  • NDEA Title IV Fellowship, Rutgers, 1968-71
  • Honorary Woodrow Wilson Fellow, 1968
  • Phi Beta Kappa, 1968.

Associations & Organizations

Phi Beta Kappa, College Teachers of English, Associated Writing Program, Knoxville Arts & Culture Alliance, Knoxville Writers’ Guild, VCCA-France.

Invited Lectures

  • “Translating Wild Dreamers: Surrealist Poetry.” Southern Festival of Books, Nashville, with William Pitt Root and Darren Jackson, October 15, 2011.
  • “Poetry as a Bridge to Writing Children’s Books.” Workshop for Pine Manor College, January 7, 2011.
  • Convocation, “How to Get Heat Without Fire: Poetry and Healing.” Manchester University, Manchester, IN, October 2009.
  • “Re-entering the Black Forest in Poetry, Prose, and Drama.” AWP Conference, Chicago, February, 2009.
  • Poetry Thrives at the Margins,” Keynote address to Indiana College English  Conference, Vincennes, October 24, 2008.
  • “Four Generations of Women Discuss Literary Outreach Beyond Academia.” AWP Conference, New York, February 1. 2008.
  •  “The Challenges of Creating a Children’s Book.” Southern Festival of Books, Nashville, October 14, 2007.
  • “Navigating the Shoals and Enjoying the Ride: Successful Tactics for Graduate Teaching Assistants.” Sponsored by Columbia University Graduate School, Arts & Sciences, August 30, 2007.
  • Poetry workshops, United States Military Academy, West Point,October 31, 2006.
  • Poetry workshop, Southern Connecticut State University, October 30, 2006
  • “Composing the Lyrical Moment,” poetry workshop, Midwest Writers Conference, Muncie, July 27, 2006.
  • “Writing for Reconciliation: a Dialogue With bell hooks and Marilyn Kallet.”  Berea College, June 1, 2006.
  • Poetry Master Class, for the Knoxville Writers’ Guild, Gatlinburg, May 7, 2006.
  • “The Art of College Teaching: Strategies that Have Worked For  Me.”  Consultant/panel organizer and presenter, Montgomery College Maryland Teaching and Learning Center, June 18, 2005.
  • “The Poet as Performer.” Workshop, Chattanooga Festival of Writers,” April 1, 2006.
  • Poetry residency, Hamilton County  Adult High School, March 31, 2006.  Sponsored by the Chattanooga Arts & Education Council and the Tennessee Arts Commission.
  • “The Art of College Teaching.”  Discussion with faculty, Berea College, November 14, 2005.
  • “The Art of College Teaching,” panel presentation with April Morgan, Southern Festival of Books, Nashville, October 7, 2005.
  • Stokely Institute Keynote speaker and Workshop organizer, “Creative Work With Words.” For K-12 teachers, July 20, 2005.
  • Yom HaShoah Memorial service and poetry reading, Berea College, May 6,2005.
  • Reading from A Death in the Family, UT James Agee Celebration, April 13, 2005.
  • “Dark Before Dawn: Discouragment and Hope in a Writer’s Life.” AWP Panel, Vancouver, April 2, 2005.
  • Poetry workshop and author chat, Women’s Center, University of Missouri/KC, January 28, 2005.
  • Discussion with student writers, Rockhurst University, Kansas City,January 27, 2005.


Invited Poetry readings: (Selected, since 2005)

  • Poetry reading, Chapelle Ste. Catherine, Auvillar, for Ressources Humaines Mairie Auvillar, May 20, 2012. With workshop participants, VCCA-France.
  • Poetry at the Piano Studio with Patricia Clark, Michelle Boisseau, and Siobhan Campbell. Fine Arts Building, Chicago. March 21, 2012.
  • Poetry reading, Austin Peay University, April 2, 2012.
  • The Gold Mine, New Orleans, October 27, 2011.
  • Southern Festival of Books, October 15, 2011; October 10, 2009, October 11, 2008, October 8, 2005,
  • Pine Manor College, January 7, 2011.
  • Poetry Flash, Diesel Books, Oakland, November 8, 2009.
  • Art Institute of California, San Francisco, November 6, 2009.
  • Manchester Public Library, October 21, 2009.
  • Auvillar, France (in English and French), June 16, 2009; August 9, 2007.
  • Francis Marion University, Florence, S.C., February 3, 2009.
  • Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, July 24, 2008, May 16, 2005.
  • Cornelia Street Cafe, New York, May 11, 2008.
  • Appalachian State University, April 10, 2008.
  • Union College, Jackson, Tennessee, March 29, 2007.
  • United States Military Academy, West Point, October 31, 2006.
  • Southern Connecticut State University, October 29, 2006.
  • East Tennessee Historical Center, “Living On” program, sponsored by the
  • Tennessee Holocaust Commission, October 9, 2006.
  • Commonwealth Bookstore, Boston, September 25, 2006.
  • Poetry readings sponsored by the United States Embassy’s “America Presents” cultural programs in Poland:  “Poetry of Jewish Identity”: Beit Warszava, June 16, 2006
  • Jewish Historical Institute, Warsaw, June 19, 2006.
  • Schorr Foundation for Jewish Culture, Warsaw, June 20, 2006.
  • Galicia Museum, Krakow, June 21, 2006.
  • Montgomery College, Rockville, Maryland, April 19, 2006.
  • Pellissippi State, April 6, 2006
  • Middle Tennessee State U, March 27, 2006.
  • Emory & Henry College, February 20, 2006.
  • Berea College, November 14, 2005.
  • Mary Anderson Center for the Arts, May 21, 2005.
  • John Fowles Lecture, Chapman University, April 11, 2005.
  • Belmont University, Nashville, April 6, 2005.
  • City Lights Bookstore, Sylva, North Carolina, March 18, 2005.
  • Midwest Poets Series, for New Letters, Mabee Theatre,
  • Rockhurst University, Kansas City, January 27, 2005.

Marilyn Kallet

Contact Information

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