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SIMONE MUENCH

2014 HONOREE

SIMONE MUENCH WRITES:
"She's a washed-out blue smock, hungering for a good month"

Simone Muench is a poet and the daughter of hippie parents who named her after Nina Simone (who in turn named herself after Simone Signoret). She grew up under the influence of Universal Horror films, Boone’s Farm, Southern Baptist sermons, and country roads.  She is the recipient of a 2013 National Endowment for the Arts Poetry Fellowship and the Fall 2012 Black Lawrence Chapbook Award for Trace. Other honors include the Bright Lights/Big Verse PSA Award, two Illinois Arts Council Fellowships, 2013 and 2015 Lewis Faculty Scholar Awards, and residency fellowships to Vermont Studio Center, Artsmith, and Yaddo.

She is the author of five full-length poetry collections: The Air Lost in Breathing (Helicon Nine, 2000), winner of the Marianne Moore Prize for Poetry; Lampblack & Ash (Sarabande, 2005), winner of the Kathryn A. Morton Prize for Poetry and and an Editor’s Choice at The New York Times Book Review; Orange Crush (Sarabande, 2010); Disappearing Address, co-written with Philip Jenks (BlazeVOX, 2010), and Wolf Centos (Sarabande, 2014).

Praise for Muench’s work:

“Simone Muench has stitched together a new creature out of scraps and vital organs she gathered in the boneyard.  It lives.  It leaps. It bounds.  It’s at your window tonight.  Too late for you, sweetheart.” – Daniel Handler, aka Lemony Snicket

“How easily one becomes enraptured by Muench’s new collection, given its surprising collisions of images, gorgeous lucidity, and the linguistic fecundity of each vital line. . . . So ingeniously, seamlessly, and provocatively does Muench arrange her selections, her potent patterns and imaginative juxtapositions retain the beauty and power of the original language while coalescing, alchemically, in original poems of haunting reverie, raw hunger, and struck wonder.” – Booklist

“I love it when this happens – when a poem matches my internal impression of a moment – but also enlarges that moment to panorama, and deepens it, too, like drilling into a dark cavity and striking some bright, inpenetrable gold.” – Julie Marie Wade, The Rumpus


Muench received her BA and MA from the University of Colorado at Bolder and her PhD from the University of Illinois at Chicago.  Now at Lewis University, she is Professor of English and Director of the Creative and Professional Writing Program, in addition to servicing as chief faculty advisor for Jet Fuel Review.  Before making her home in Chicago, she lived in some of Louisiana’s smallest towns (Iota and Benson), the Ozark Mountains, the Rocky Mountains and the West Coast of Australia.  And though she now prefers Prosecco to Boone’s Farm, she remains a life long horror film fan.

Currently, she collaborates with Dean Rader, co-writing a book of sonnets (referred to as the “Frankenstein Sonnets”), some of which appear in The American Poetry Review, New American Writings, Zyzzyva, Blackbird, and POOL.