Marilyn Kallet


Knoxville, TN
Tennessee US

Author's Bio

Marilyn Kallet served as Knoxville Poet Laureate from June 27, 2018-June 2020. She is Professor Emerita at the University of Tennessee.  She teaches workshops or leads residencies for the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, at their site in Auvillar. She is the author/editor or translator of 19 books, including Even When Sleep, poetry from Commonwealth Books/Black Widow Press, 2022 and translations of books by Paul Eluard and Benjamin Péret, among others. Dr. Kallet is a specialist in writing poetry from dreams and on poetry's role in times of crisis. She received her B.A. from Tufts University, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Rutgers.

Publications & Prizes

Sleeping with One Eye Open: Women Writers & the Art of Survival (University of Georgia Press, 1999)
Worlds in Our Words (Blair Press/Prentice-Hall, 1996)
How Our Bodies Learned (Black Widow Press, 2018)
The Love That Moves Me (Black Widow Press, 2013)
The Big Game, by Benjamin Péret, trans. M. Kallet (Black Widow Press, 2011)
Packing Light: New and Selected Poems (Black Widow Press, 2009)
The Movable Nest: A Mother/Daughter Companion, co.ed, P.Clark (Helicon Nine Editions, 2007)
Last Love Poems of Paul Eluard (Commonwealth Books/Black Widow Press, 2006)
Circe, After Hours (BkMk Press-UMKC, 2005)
The Art of College Teaching: 28 Takes (University of Tennessee Press, 2005)
How to Get Heat Without Fire (New Messenger/New Millennium, 1996)
Prizes won: 

Knoxville Poet Laureate, June 27, 2018; reappointed in 2019.

University of Tennessee Professor Emerita, June, 2018.

University of Tennessee, Nancy Moore Goslee Professor of English, August 2013-2018.

Hesler Award for Teaching and Service, University of Tennessee, April 17, 2018.  ($12,000, of which $3000 goes to Kallet; $3000 goes to library, for books of Kallet’s choice; $6000 goes to a program designated by Kallet, in this case, to the Creative Writing Program, to sponsor a reading by Tiana Clark, February 18,  2019.

College of Arts & Sciences Outreach Award, 2012.

Professional Development Grant for research and writing poetry in France, ($1500), matched by Hodges Summer Research/Travel, 2012.

Lindsay Young Professor, College of Arts & Sciences, University of Ten., 2006-2011.

James R. and Nell W. Cunningham Outstanding Teaching Award, College of Arts &

            Sciences Teaching Award, 2010.

Chancellor’s Outreach Award, University of Tennessee, 2007.

Hodges Chair for Distinguished Teaching, Department of English, 2003-2006.

Inducted, East Tennessee Literary Hall of Fame in Poetry, March 31, 2005.

YWCA Tribute to Women, Woman of Achievement in the Arts, 2000.

Chancellor’s Research and Creative Achievement Award, 2002.

Panelist, City Arts Grants, Knoxville Arts & Culture Alliance, April 7, 2008.

ArtsReach Grant, 1998, Knoxville Council on the Arts.

Tennessee Arts Commission Literary Fellowship in Poetry, 1989 ($5000).

UT National Alumni Outstanding Teacher Award, 2000.

UT National Alumni Public Service Award, 1995; College of Arts & Sciences Public Service Award, 1994.

Amon Carter Evans Tennessee Tomorrow Award for faculty leave, 1983.

NDEA Title IV Fellowship, Rutgers, 1968-71.

Honorary Woodrow Wilson Fellow, 1968.

Phi Beta Kappa, 1968.


Personal Favorites

Favorite authors: 
Joy Harjo, Brenda Hillman, Lucille Clifton, Robert Hass, Yusef Komunyakaa, Kate Daniels. I also like mystery novels, especially those by Louise Penny, Mark Pryor, Lee Child and Michael Connelly.
What I'm reading now: 
An American Sunrise by Joy Harjo, The Paris Bookseller by Mark Pryor

More Information

Gives readings: 
Travels for readings: 
Identifies as: 
Prefers to work with: 
Fluent in: 
English, French
Born in: 
Montgomery, AL
Raised in: 
Rockville Centre, NY
New York
Please note: All information in the Directory is provided by the listed writers or their representatives.
Last update: May 19, 2022