Ruth Ellen Kocher was born and raised in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. She received a BA from Pennsylvania State University in 1990 and an MFA and a PhD from Arizona State University in 1994 and 1999, respectively.
Kocher is the author of several poetry collections, including Third Voice (Tupelo Press, 2016); Ending in Planes (Noemi Press, 2014); domina Un/blued (Tupelo Press, 2013), winner of the PEN Open Book Award and the Dorset Prize; and Desdemona’s Fire (Lotus Press, 1999), winner of the Naomi Long Madgett Award for African American Poets.
Of her work, Bruce Weigl writes, “At the heart of these stunning poems is a precise and imaginative examination of the thin line that separates beauty and terror, wisdom and madness, tolerance and hatred.”
Kocher has received fellowships from Cave Canem Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. She has previously taught at the University of Missouri, Southern Illinois University, and New England College. She currently serves as a professor at the University of Colorado–Boulder. She lives in Colorado.
Third Voice (Tupelo Press, 2016)
Ending in Planes (Noemi Press, 2014)
Goodbye Lyric: The Gigans and Lovely Gun (Sheep Meadow Press, 2014)
domina Un/blued (Tupelo Press, 2013)
One Girl Babylon (New Issues Press, 2003)
When the Moon Knows You’re Wandering (New Issues Press, 2002)
Desdemona’s Fire (Lotus Press, 1999)