Connie Wanek

b. 1952
Connie Wanek

Born in Madison, Wisconsin, poet Connie Wanek grew up on a farm outside Green Bay and in Las Cruces, New Mexico. She was educated at New Mexico State University.

Wanek’s poetry collections include Bonfire (1997), winner of the New Voices Award from New Rivers Press, and Hartley Field (2002). Her image-driven poems often engage nature and natural order. Praising Hartley Field, poet David Orr observed, “Wanek is from Wisconsin, but her sensibility often seems Eastern European or Scandinavian. Like Szymborska, Wanek likes to end poems with poised yet cutting observations or intimations of dread that can turn ordinary activities into existential dilemmas.”

Wanek’s honors include the Willow Poetry Prize, the Jane Kenyon Poetry Prize, and a Witter Bynner Fellowship at the Library of Congress. She co-edited, with Joyce Sutphen and Thom Tammaro, the anthology To Sing Along the Way: Minnesota Women Poets from Pre-Territorial Days to the Present (2006).

She lives with her family in Duluth, Minnesota, where she has worked at the public library and as a restorer of old homes.

What People are Saying

"I learned that I had the ability to capture the attention of an audience and evoke emotion from them. When I recited my first poem in 9th grade for a mock POL class competition, I was incredibly shy and barely audible. But eventually I grew to love sharing the emotions poems gave me."
Chiara Raimondo
2016 NY POL Champion