Denise Low

Poet, Fiction Writer, Creative Nonfiction Writer

Healdsburg, CA
California US

Author's Bio

Denise Low, Kansas Poet Laureate 2007-2009, has 35+ books of award-winning poetry, essays, and fiction. Her degrees are: MFA-Wichita St.U.& Ph.D. University of Kansas. She teaches privately and does developmental editing. She has British Isles, German, and Delaware (Lenape/Munsee) heritages. She was 2011-2012 AWP president of the board of directors. Currently, she is a founding member of Indigenous Native Poets (In-Na-Po). For Essay Daily she is a contributing editor of the Midwessay series. Low taught at Haskell Indian Nations U., U. of Ks., and the U. of Richmond. Currently she teaches in Baker University's School of Professional and Graduate Studies.Recent books are Wing (Red Mountain, 2021), A Casino Bestiary (Spartan Press), Shadow Light (Editor's Choice Award, Red Mountain), Jackalope (short fiction), and Melange Block (Red Mountain ). Her memoir The Turtle's Beating Heart: One Family's Story of Lenape Survival (U of Nebraska Press), is a Hefner Heitz finalist. Her Ghost Stories of the New West (Woodley), was named one of the best Native American Books of 2010 by The Circle of Minneapolis.

Publications & Prizes

Creative Nonfiction

Northern Cheyenne Ledger Art by Fort Robinson Breakout Survivors (University of Nebraska Press, 2020)
The Turtle's Beating Heart (University of Nebraska Press, American Lives Series, 2017)
Natural Theologies: Essays about New West (Backwaters Press, 2011)


Jackalope: Short Fiction (Red Mountain Press, 2016)


WING (Red Mountain Press, 2021)
SHADOW LIGHT (Red Mountain Press, 2019)
A CASINO BESTIARY (Spartan Press, 2018)
Melange Block: Poems (Red Mountain Press, 2014)
Ghost Stories of the New West (Woodley Press, 2010)
Langston Hughes in Lawrence (Mammoth Books, 2004)
Thailand Journal (Woodley Press, 2003)
New and Selected Poems (Penthe, 1999)
Prizes won: 

Red Mountain Press Editor's Choice Award, Heitz Award finalist, Kansas Notable Book Awards (4), Pami Jurassi - Ac. of Am. Poets 2nd; NEH Research Fellowship; NEH Faculty Fellowship; Ks. Lit. Fellowship; The Newberry Library; Lannan-McNickle Center;  Phillips Foundation; 

Personal Favorites

Favorite authors: 
Leslie Marmon Silko, Rilke, William Stafford, Kenneth Irby, Layli LongSoldier, Victoria Chang
What I'm reading now: 
The Shrubberies by Ronald Johnson, The Intent On: Collected Poems by Ken Irby, The New Testament by Jericho Brown, Becoming Story by Greg Sarris, Things Come On by Joseph Harrington, The Trees Witness Everything by Victoria Chang, Good Seeds: A Menominee Indian Food Memoir by Thomas Weso

More Information

Gives readings: 
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Born in: 
Emporia, KS
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Last update: Apr 02, 2022