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Carol Potter, MFA

Antioch University Los Angeles

Carol Potter (poetry) received her MFA from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 1982, and has taught at Indiana University, University of Redlands, UCLA Extension Writers’ program, Antioch University, Ohio State University, Champlain College, and at community colleges in California and in Massachusetts.

Potter’s most recent book of poems, Some Slow Bees, won the 2014 Field Poetry Prize from Oberlin College Press. Of Some Slow Bees, Betsy Sholl writes: “With what verve and formal acuity Carol Potter puts us right in the welter of the world. Her tales in Some Slow Bees are told with such speed everything unnecessary falls away and what’s left is pure honey—with the sting of revelation. The language is exuberant and exacting at once, like a scalpel sprouting feathers. Desirous and wary of love, skeptical of “the grail that any one story grows to be,” these are poems of self-reckoning, and Potter makes a fine music for us all out of what we “didn’t do…couldn’t keep…walked away from.” “Don’t sit down just because you’re invited,” one poem cautions. But Reader, do—do sit down and feast on these fine, wry and wonderful poems.”

Potter’s fourth book, Otherwise Obedient (Red Hen Press, 2007), was a finalist in the Lambda LGBT awards for 2007, and her third book of poems, Short History of Pets won the 1999 Cleveland State Poetry Center Award, and the Balcones Award.  Two previous books were published by Alice James Books, Upside Down in The Dark (I995) and Before We Were Born (1990).

Publications include poems in The Massachusetts Review, The New England Review, Poetry, American Poetry Review, The Iowa Review, Hotel Amerika, The Los Angeles Review, Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, Poet Lore, Sinister Wisdom, The Kenyon Review, and many other journals.

Potter’s work has also appeared in numerous anthologies including The Pushcart Prize XXVI: Best of the Small Presses, December 2001, and most recently in The Road Taken, an anthology of contemporary Vermont poets.

Awards besides the Field Poetry Prize, the Cleveland State Poetry Center Award, and a Pushcart Prize in 2001 include The 2015 Ekphrasis Poetry Award, The 2015 Northampton Arts Biennial Poetry Contest, The New Letters Award for Poetry in 1990, the Tom McAfee Discovery Award from The Missouri Review, and three Massachusetts Council of the Arts Awards, and the 2004 dA Center for the Arts Poetry Award. Potter was also the writer in residence at the Thurber House in April of 2003. She has had residencies at Yaddo, MacDowell, Millay Colony for the Arts, Cummington Community of the Arts, Valparaiso in Mojacar, Spain, Villa Montalvo, and Centrum.

Educational History

MFA in Poetry, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
BA in English/Journalism, certificate in Women’s Studies, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Affiliate Faculty,

MFA in Creative Writing Program


Courses Taught

Women & Lit
GLBT Literature
Multi-genre Creative Writing
Intro to Literature

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