I was born and raised in Virginia; after graduating from Smith College, I made Northampton, Massachusetts my home. So, while I have now lived in New England longer than the South, much of my poetry, prose writing is rooted in the south. I was raised by two northerners, my mother, an Irish immigrant who grew up in Brooklyn, and my father, from Minnesota. Irish and Catholic in what was at the time a small southern town, made for intriguing paradoxes in my childhood. The weaving together of these threads runs through my work.
At Smith College, I received the Rosemary Thomas Poetry Prize awarded by members of the Smith College English Department, which helped to bolster my budding commitment to a writing life. I’ve also had the fortunate opportunity to work with Galway Kinnell, Sharon Olds, Tony Hoagland, Chase Twitchell, and Claudia Emerson. Their poetry has influenced mine in myriad ways.
In addition to writing, I also teach at Cambridge College and strive to inspire my students to fall in love with learning. I believe that writing can and does change lives. I’ve also had the great fortune to teach poetry workshops working with formerly incarcerated women. These remarkable women have shown me the power of poetry to change lives.
My volunteerism has also included working with an organization, The Center for New Americans, as chair (and participant) of “30 Poems in November” fundraiser every year. The Center provides services to immigrants seeking citizenship and to make Western Massachusetts their home. Our town is full of gifted poets, using their craft to raise money with poems!
My poetry has appeared in Hawai’i Review, The Delmarva Review, Tampa Review, Limestone, Big Muddy, Serving House Journal, and numerous other publications. I collaborated with a local artist, Scout Cuomo, who created an animation video of one of my poems, “A Field Guide to Salmon,” published by Tin House Reels poets and artists working together. The video can be found on Vimeo. My essays appear in SALON and The Huffington Post. My chapbook, Air- Breathing Life (FLP, 2017) has been nominated for the 2018 Massachusetts Book Award. Additionally, the New Orleans Review nominated my poem, “Death is Real,” for a 2018 Pushcart Prize.
Abigail Warren’s poetry collection, Inexact Grace, was a finalist in the 2019 Terry J. Cox Poetry Award and will be published by Regal House Publishing in 2020.