Sage Graduate Fellow of Cornell University (MFA) and Professor of English and Creative Writing at Lock Haven University, Marjorie Maddox has published eleven collections of poetry—including True, False, None of the Above (Poeima Poetry Series and Illumination Book Award Medalist); Wives' Tales (Seven Kitchens Press); Local News from Someplace Else (Wipf & Stock); Perpendicular As I (Sandstone Book Award); Weeknights at the Cathedral (WordTech); and Transplant, Transport, Transubstantiation (Yellowglen Prize and a runner-up for the Brittingham and Felix Pollak Prizes)—and 500 poems, stories, and essays in journals and anthologies. In 2017, Fomite Press published her story collection What She Was Saying, with endorsements from Sena Jeter Naslund, Robert Morgan, and Fiona Cheong. In the past, the manuscript was a national finalist for the Katherine Anne Porter and Eludia book awards and a national semifinalist for the Spokane, Black Lawrence, and Leapfrog book prizes.
Maddox is co-editor, with Jerry Wemple, of Common Wealth: Contemporary Poets on Pennsylvania (Penn State Press) and has four children’s books: A Crossing of Zebras: Animal Packs in Poetry, Rules of the Game: Baseball Poems (Boyds Mills Press), as well as A Man Named Branch: The True Story of Baseball's Great Experiment, and Inside Out: Poems on Writing and Reading Poems + Insider Exercises (Schoolwide). Her numerous honors include Cornell University’s Chasen Award; the 2000 Paumanok Poetry Award; an Academy of American Poets Prize; the Seattle Review’s Bentley Prize for Poetry; a Bread Loaf Scholarship; Pushcart Prize nominations in both poetry and fiction; and Lock Haven University's 2012 Honors Professor of the Year, 2007 Collaboration and Teamwork Award for Celebration of Scholarship, 2004 Scholarship Award, and 2011 and 2012 Woman of Distinction nominee. She serves as co-editor for the Jacopone da Todi Poetry Book Prize (Franciscan University Press) and has served as poetry judge for the Evangelical Press Association’s annual awards. Maddox gives readings, workshops, radio interviews, and lectures at universities, elementary schools, conferences, libraries, and other venues around the country, including the Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua, NY; the New England Young Writers’ Conference at Middlebury College’s Bread Loaf Campus; and the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. She is the great grandniece of Branch Rickey, the general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers who helped break the color barrier by signing Jackie Robinson.
Poetry leads to discovery, prompting us to face ourselves, others, and the world. Certainly the poet has the potential to become that voice crying in the wilderness, “Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord.” And yet—similar to a powerful painting or piece of music—poetry can’t be paraphrased or condensed; it must be experienced. The words need to become, as Marianne Moore argued, “imaginary gardens with real toads”—be it the gardens of Versailles, Eden, Gethsemane, or Babylon. May the poems of Presence be such a garden, thick with your words, lush with the everyday and the eternal. We invite you to enter.