Cynthia Gallaher

Chicago, IL 60625
(773) 544-0070

Author's Bio

Since I've started writing, I've come out with three published poetry collections: Earth Elegance (March Abrazo Press, Chicago, 2000) poems on animals and the environment; Swimmer’s Prayer (Missing Spoke Press, Seattle, 1999), poems about Chicago, favorably reviewed in the American Library Association Booklist magazine; and Night Ribbons (Polar Bear Press, Chicago, 1990). I appear on the Chicago Public Library’s list of “Top Ten Requested Chicago Poets,” and was named one of “100 Women Making a Difference” by Today’s Chicago Woman magazine. I have received five CAAP/NAP grants from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs for both poetry and theater writing, and have been honored by the Illinois Library Association and the Illinois State Library. My poems are featured in Working Words: Punching the Clock and Kicking Up the Jams (Coffee House Press, Minneapolis, 2010), Stand Up Poetry: An Expanded Anthology (University of Iowa Press, 2002) and Boomer Girls: Poems by Women from the Baby Boom Generation (University of Iowa Press, 1999). Pearson/Scott Foresman recently published three of my short plays, which appear in its middle school textbooks. In 2007, I won Grand Prize, Poem for Chicago, through, and I was nominated for a Pushcart Prize by the same organization in 2011. More than 100 of my poems have been published in small press magazines and anthologies. My most recent publications are a poetry chapbook, "Omnivore Odes: Poems About Food, Herbs and Spices" (Finishing Line Press, 2013) and a nonfiction reference/memoir/how-to "Frugal Poets' Guide to Life: How to Live a Poetic Life, Even If You Aren't a Poet" (2016).

Publications and Prizes

Earth Elegance
(March/Abrazo Press, 2000)
, Night Ribbons
(Polar Bear Press, 1990)
, Swimmer's Prayer
(Missing Spoke Press, 1999)
Boomer Girls
(University of Iowa Press, 1999)
, Stand Up Poetry
(University of Iowa Press, 2002)
, Working Words: Punching the Clock and Kickin' Out the Jams
(Coffee House Press, 2010)
Omnivore Odes: Poems About Food, Herbs and Spices
(Finishing Line Press, 2013)
Prizes Won: 
Illinois Arts Council Professional Development Grants; various grants from City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs

Personal Favorites

What I'm Reading Now: 
The Big Thirst by Charles Fishman
The Anthropology of Turquoise: Reflections on Desert, Sea, Stone, and Sky by Ellen Meloy
The Sounds of Poetry: A Brief Guide by Robert Pinsky
The Three "Only" Things: Tapping the Power of Dreams, Coincidence, and Imagination by Robert Moss
The Urban Homestead: Your Guide to Self-sufficient Living in the Heart of the City by Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen

Reviews, Recordings, and Interviews

More Information

Listed as: 
Gives readings: 
Travels for readings: 
Born in: 
Raised in: 
Chicago, IL
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Last updated: Jul 24, 2016