Born: November 25, 1940
Ohio connection: Resident
Martha Collins was born in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1940. She earned a B.A. at Stanford University and holds a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa. She is the author of Blue Front, a book-length poem based on a lynching her father witnessed when he was five years old. Collins' chapbook Sheer was published in 2008. She has also published several other collections of poems, and books of co-translations from the Vietnamese, and an earlier chapbook of poems. Collins founded the Creative Writing Program at UMass-Boston, and for ten years was Pauline Delaney Professor of Creative Writing at Oberlin College. She is currently editor-at-large for FIELD magazine and one of the editors of the Oberlin College Press.
Blue Front won an Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, and was chosen as one of "25 Books to Remember from 2006" by the New York Public Library. Her other awards include fellowships from the NEA, the Bunting Institute, the Ingram Merrill Foundation, and the Witter Bynner Foundation, as well as three Pushcart Prizes, the Alice Fay Di Castagnola Award, and a Lannan residency grant. A selection of poems from Blue Front won the Laurence Goldstein Poetry Prize in 2005; other selections from the book appeared in Kenyon Review and Ploughshares. Additionally, she was awarded the Ohioana Poetry Book Award, 2007.