Michelle Bonczek Evory
Michelle Bonczek (BAHN-zak) Evory was born and raised in the New York metro area, the first person born in the United States on her mother’s side. After moving to upstate New York in high school, Bonczek Evory attended the State University of New York College at Brockport where she completed a BS in Communications (Journalism) and an MA in English Literature working under the poet William Heyen. She received a scholarship from Eastern Washington University where she completed an MFA in poetry, and a Doctoral Fellowship from Western Michigan University where she completed a Ph.D. in Creative Writing specializing in contemporary poetry, early American literature, and British Romanticism while teaching creative writing, American literature, and women’s studies.
Bonczek Evory is the author of The Ghosts of Lost Animals, winner of the 2018 Barry Spacks Prize (Gunpowder Press, 2019) and recipient of a 2021 Independent Publisher Book Award; A Roadside Attempt at Attraction, winner of the 2017 Celery City Chapbook Contest (Kalamazoo Friends of Poetry, 2018); Before Fort Clatsop (Finishing Line P, 2017); The Art of the Nipple, winner of the 2012 Orange Monkey Chapbook Award (Orange Monkey Publishing); and a book on craft, Naming the Unnameable: An Approach to Poetry for New Generations (Open SUNY Press), which is taught in creative writing programs throughout the country.
In 2015, she and her husband poet Rob Evory were the inaugural Artists in Residence for the National Parks Arts Foundation at Gettysburg National Military Park and in 2019 they held artist residencies at SERDE, a UNESCO World Heritage site in Latvia.
Her poetry has been anthologized in venues such as Best New Poets (2013); Rewilding: Poems for the Environment; Anthology of Polish American Writers; Scientists and Poets #RESIST; and Awake in the World, Vol 2. And her poems have been featured in over 100 literary journals and magazines, including Crazyhorse, cream city review, Green Mountains Review, New York Quarterly, Rattle, Wasafiri: The Magazine of International Contemporary Writing, Willow Springs, and in the political and environmental magazines Orion Magazine, and The Progressive.
Awards include the Sherwin W. Howard Award through Weber Contemporary West, the Jane Kenyon Award for poetry through Water~Stone Review, The Consequence Prize through Consequences Magazine, and a grant from the Kalamazoo Arts Council.
Bonczek Evory has been a contributing editor and reader for poetry publishers Eastern Washington University, Lost Horse Press, and New Issues Press, as well as the literary journals Third Coast and Willow Springs. In addition to the literary side of publishing, she has also worked as a freelance editor for the McGraw-Hill Companies.
Bonczek Evory has taught in colleges across the country including teaching creative writing at Western Michigan University and Lebanon Valley College; environmental writing and literature at The State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Western Michigan University, and LeMoyne College; and arts and culture courses at Kalamazoo Valley Community College. In all of her classrooms she has been recognized for fostering a vibrant, energetic community of writers and thinkers who thrive on storytelling and reading diverse texts. Her experimental approaches to creating art and her knowledge of publishing enables her students to produce innovative works that they can share with the world, while her broad expertise in literature equips them with a firm foundation in literary and cultural history. Her students have published poetry collections, received Fulbright Fellowships, been awarded fellowships in MFA and Ph.D. programs, and attained tenure-track positions.
She is currently working on a memoir about moving across the country to rural Oregon during the Covid-19 pandemic, a collection of poems focused on infertility and the Earth's sixth extinction, and a series of collage poems.
She mentors poets on The Poet's Billow, which she and her husband Rob founded in 2012.