Brenda Marie Osbey

New Orleans, LA

Author's Bio

Brenda Marie Osbey is a poet, essayist and librettist working in English and French. Her six books include her collected poems, ALL SOULS: Essential Poems (LSU Press, 2015) and History & Other Poems (Time Being, 2013). Edited works include features for Indiana Review, Poet Lore, War|Scapes, and Gabriel Okara: Collected Poems, Edited and with an Introduction by Brenda Marie Osbey (African Poetry Book Series, 2016). Named the first peer-selected Poet Laureate of the State of Louisiana in 2005, she spent her two-year tenure of service touring the United States presenting weekly poetry readings, lectures and symposia advocating the rebuilding of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast region of the United States in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Osbey is a New Orleans native.

Publications and Prizes

All Saints: New & Selected Poems
(Louisiana State University Press, 1997)
, ALL SOULS: Essential Poems by Brenda Marie Osbey
(Louisiana State University Press, 2015)
, Ceremony for Minneconjoux
(University of Virginia Press, 1985)
, Ceremony for Minneconjoux
(Callaloo Poetry Series, 1983)
, Desperate Circumstance, Dangerous Woman
(Story Line Press, 1991)
, History and Other Poems
(Time Being Books, 2012)
, In These Houses
(Wesleyan University Press, 1988)
2PLUS2: A Collection of International Writing
(Mylabris Press, 1987)
, Afro-American Writing Today
(Louisiana State University Press, 1989)
, Early Ripening: American Women's Poetry Now
(Routledge, 1987)
, Literary New Orleans
(Hill Street Press, 1999)
, Literature of the American South: A Norton Anthology
(Norton, 1997)
, The American Voice Anthology of Poetry
(University of Kentucky Press, 1998)
, The Body Electric: The Best Poetry from the American Poetry Review
(American Poetry Review, 2000)
, The Made Thing: An Anthology of Contemporary Southern Poetry
(University of Arkansas Press, 1987)
, The Yellow Shoe Poets: Selected Poems 1964—1999
(Louisiana State University Press, 1999)
American Poetry Review, American Voice, Callaloo, Creative Nonfiction, Epoch, Georgia Review, Greenfield Review, Indiana Review, Obsidian, Southern Review, Women's Review of Books
Prizes Won: 
2015 Brown Foundation/MFAH Fellowship, Maison Dora Maar, Ménerbes, France. 2014 Langston Hughes Award, Langston Hughes Society, College Language Association (CLA). Honorary Doctor of Letters, Dickinson College, 2006. Poet Laureate, State of Louisiana, 2005–2007. Camargo Foundation Fellowship, Cassis, France, Spring 2004. American Book Award, 1998. Louisiana Division of the Arts Artist Fellowship, 1993. National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship, 1990.

More Information

Listed as: 
Gives readings: 
Travels for readings: 
Identifies as: 
African American
Fluent in: 
Born in: 
New Orleans
Raised in: 
New Orleans, LA
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Last updated: Jun 03, 2016