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Sandra McPherson
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Sandra McPherson

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Graduate study, University of Washington, with David Wagoner and Elizabeth Bishop
B.A., San José State University

Before joining the faculty at Davis, I taught for four years in the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, was Holloway Lecturer at the University of California at Berkeley, and conducted several years of classes for the Oregon Writers Workshop/Pacific Northwest College of Art.  I have taught creative writing and poetry-as-literature courses at UC Davis since 1985.  In 1999 I founded Swan Scythe Press, a poetry chapbook publishing venture. As of spring 2005 Swan Scythe Press will have twenty-six titles in print.

Honors and Awards

Her honors and awards include three National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, a Guggenheim fellowship, two Ingram Merrill grants, an Award in Literature from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and letters, and a nomination for the National Book Award.  I was featured on the Bill Moyers television series The Language of Life.



  • Expectation Days, University of Illinois Press, 2007
  • A Visit to Civilization, Wesleyan/University Press of New England, 2002
  • Beauty in Use, Janus Press, 1997
  • Edge Effect: Trails and Portrayals, Wesleyan/University Press of New England, 1996
  • The Spaces Between Birds: Mother/Daughter Poems 1967-1995, Wesleyan/University Press of New England, 1996
  • The God of Indeterminacy, U of Illinois, 1993
  • Streamers, Ecco, 1988
  • Patron Happiness, Ecco, 1983
  • The Year of Our Birth, Ecco, 1978
  • Radiation, Ecco, 1973
  • Elegies for the Hot Season, Indiana University Press, 1970; reprinted by Ecco, 1982



Publication Spotlight

A Visit to Civilization
by Sandra McPherson

"A wonderfully original work that draws on historic artifacts, journals and found objects to illustrate America in all its eccentricity and diversity. Despite this complex agenda, her lyric voice never falters; her clear eyes are firmly fixed on their objective" - Carolyn Kizer


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