Bruce Weigl


Bruce Weigl was born in Lorain, Ohio, on January 27, 1949. He graduated from Lorain Admiral King High School in 1967. He served in the United States Army from 1967 to 1970; he served in Vietnam and received the Bronze Star.

He graduated from Oberlin College in 1974 and in 1975 was awarded a Master of Arts Degree in Writing/American and British Literature from the University of New Hampshire. In 1979, he received his Ph.D. from the University of Utah.

Since 1976, he has taught literature at a number of institutions - Case Western Reserve University, Lorain County Community College, University of Arkansas, Old Dominion University, Warren Wilson College, and in the Writing Program at the Pennsylvania State University where he directed the MFA Program in Writing. He is past president of the Associated Writing Programs. He currently lives in Oberlin and serves as "Distinguished Visiting Professor" at Lorain County Community College.

In 2000, Weigl published a memoir called The Circle of Hanh. In the memoir he writes of his life as having two pieces separated by the Vietnam War.

In November, 2006, Weigl was the recipient of the 2006 Lannan Literary Award for Poetry.  This honor was accompanied by an award of $150,000 from the Lannan Foundation.  He was the only poet/writer from Ohio to receive the honor this year.


His collections of poetry include:

  • Executioner. (1976)
  • A Sack Full of Old Quarrels. (1977)
  • A Romance. (1979)
  • The Monkey Wars. (1985)
  • Song of Napalm. (1988)
  • What Saves Us. (1992)
  • Sweet Lorain. (1996)
  • Lies, Grace and Redemption. [This is a selection of poems from five previously published books and an interview. The book was edited by Harry Humes and published as a chapbook/special issue of YARROW, a literary Magazine.] (1996)
  • Khoang Thoi Gian Khong Ngu. [A selection of Weigl's poetry translated into Vietnamese and included with seven other American writers.] (1996)
  • Archeology of the Circle: New and Selected Poems. (1999)
  • After the Others. (1999)
  • The Unraveling Strangeness: Poems (2002)
  • Declension in the Village of Chung Luong (2006)
  • The Abundance of Nothing (2012)

Weigl's poetry, translations, essays, articles, reviews, and interviews have been appeared in such periodicals as The New York Times, The Nation, TriQuarterly, Field, The New Yorker, The Western Humanities Review, The American Poetry Review, The Southern Review, The Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, The Paris Review, Antaeus, and Harpers.

In addition, his poems have been widely anthologized, most recently in The Best American Poetry, 1994, The Morrow Anthology of Younger American Poets, Poets of the '90s, Anthology of Modern War Literature, and in Against Forgetting: 20th Century Poetry of Witness.

Works of Literary Criticism:

  • Charles Simic: Essays on the Poetry. 1966.
  • The Giver of Morning : On the Poetry of Dave Smith. 1982.

Anthologies: · Writing Between the Lines: An Anthology of War and Its Social Consequences. [edited with an introduction by Kevin Bown and Bruce Weigl] 1997. Translations: · Poems from Captured Documents. [co-translated from Vietnamese with Nguyen Thanh] 1994. · Mountain River : Vietnamese Poetry from the Wars, 1948-1993: A Bilingual Collection.. [co-translated and co-edited with Kevin Bown and Nguyen Ba Chung]. 1998. · Angel Riding a Beast: Poems for America. [co-translated from Romanian with Liliana Ursu] 1998. Bruce Weigl has been awarded many literary honors in recognition of his literary accomplishments: · Patterson Poetry Prize · Yaddo Foundation Fellowship, 1976 · Academy of American Poets Prize, 1978 · The Pushcart Prize, Pushcart Press, [twice] · Breadloaf Fellowship in Poetry, Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, 1981 · National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship Grant for Creative Writing, National Education Association, 1988. · Tu Do Cien Kien award for contributions to American culture, Vietnam Veterans of America, 1987 · Best American Poetry prize, 1994 · And nominations for the Lamont Poetry Prize and the William Carolos Williams Prize.  · 2006 Lannan Literary Award for Poetry

In 2000, Bruce Weigl published a memoir called The Circle of Hanh. In the memoir he writes of his life as having two pieces separated by the Vietnam War.

More Information:

Cleveland Arts Prize Winner - 2001.

Vietnam Poet Returns Home - Oberlin College Review Online.

Bruce Weigl won the 2006 Lannan Literary Award for Poetry

LCCC Professor Wins National Literary Award for Poetry - Article by Steve Sefchik, LCCC Marketing.