Michelle Burke (mburke3)

Michelle Burke

Teaching Assistant Professor

School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences


  • PhD (2014) University of Cincinnati (English and Comparative Literature/Creative Writing)
  • MFA (2007) The Ohio State University (Creative Writing/Poetry)
  • BA (2002) Loyola University Maryland (Creative Writing and Psychology)


Burke, Michelle Y. Animal Purpose. Swallow/Ohio University Press, 2016. Winner of the Hollis Summers Poetry Prize.

—. Horse Loquela. Alabama School of Fine Arts, 2007. Winner of the Red Mountain Review Chapbook Series Award. (Chapbook.)

General Information

Michelle Y. Burke is a poet, professor, digital minimalist, and mother. She is the author of the poetry collection Animal Purpose, winner of the Hollis Summers Poetry Prize, and the poetry chapbook Horse Loquela, winner of the Red Mountain Review Chapbook Series Award. Her poetry has appeared in Poetry, Hopkins Review, Lake Effect, and other publications. She’s received poetry prizes from the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Memorial Fund, the Cultural Center of Cape Cod, and the American Literary Review, and fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Charles Phelps Taft Research Center. Her poetry has been featured on The Writer’s Almanac, American Life in Poetry, Best of the Net, and Poetry Out Loud.

She teaches writing and humanities courses at the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, NJ, and has worked on organic and sustainable farms throughout the Midwest and Northeast. She lives in New York City with her husband, the writer Douglas Watson, and their two children. You will not find her on social media.

Institutional Service

  • AI Working Group Member

Honors and Awards

2018 “All the Dads Are Dying” finalist for the Rita Dove Award in Poetry, Center for Women Writers, Salem College
2016 “A Life” and “Trick of the Light” featured on The Writer’s Almanac, Minnesota Public Radio
2015 Hollis Summers Poetry Prize for Animal Purpose, Swallow/Ohio University Press
2015 “Driving Alone” featured on Best of the Net, Sundress Publications
2015 Residency Fellowship, Sundress Academy for the Arts at Firefly Farms
2014 American Literary Review’s Poetry Award for “Not by Extraordinary Means”
2014 Cultural Center of Cape Cod’s National Poetry Prize for “Puff”
2013 Henry David Thoreau Fellowship, Vermont Studio Center
2013 Charles Phelps Taft Research Center Dissertation Fellowship, University of Cincinnati
2012 Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Prize for “Today the Horse” and “A Life”
2011 Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Prize for “First Engagement” and “Market Day”
2011 Academy of American Poets University Prize for “First Engagement”
2011 Tennessee Williams Scholarship, Sewanee Writers’ Conference, The University of the South
2010 “Nocturne” featured on American Life in Poetry, The Poetry Foundation & the Department of English at the University of Nebraska
2010 Graduate School Fellowship, University of Cincinnati
2009 Residency Fellowship, MacDowell Colony
2007 Red Mountain Review’s Chapbook Series Award for Horse Loquela
2004 Graduate School Fellowship, Ohio State University

Professional Societies

  • AWP – The Association of Writers and Writing Programs Member

Selected Publications


  1. Burke, M. Y. (2016). Animal Purpose. Athens, OH: Swallow/Ohio University Press.
  2. Burke, M. Y. (2007). Horse Loquela (chapbook). Birmingham, AL: Red Mountain Review.

Magazine/Trade Publication

  1. Burke, M. (2021). "In the Classroom: Suggested Teaching Guide for 'What Is This Thing: The Paragraph as Literary Nexus & an Argument for the Prose Poem' by Gerry LaFemina.". The Writer's Chronicle: In the Classroom, Series. The Writer's Chronicle (1 ed., vol. 52, pp. 54-56). Riverdale Park, MD: Association of Writers and Writing Programs.


  1. Burke, M. Y. (2018). Safety. NELLE. The University of Alabama at Birmingham.
  2. Burke, M. Y. (2017). Feral. Stirring.
  3. Burke, M. Y. (2016). Homing. The Hopkins Review. Johns Hopkins University.
  4. Burke, M. Y. (2015). Flight Path. Lake Effect. Penn State Erie.
  5. Burke, M. Y. (2015). Not by Extraordinary Means. American Literary Review.
  6. Burke, M. Y. (2015). Poem at 36,000 Feet. Lake Effect. Penn State Erie.
  7. Burke, M. Y. (2015). Trick of the Light. Lake Effect. Penn State Erie.
  8. Burke, M. Y. (2015). Diameter. Poetry.
  9. Burke, M. Y. (2015). Discipline the Child. Poetry.
  10. Burke, M. Y. (2015). Horse Loquela. Every River on Earth: Writing from Appalachian Ohio. Ohio University Press.
  11. Burke, M. Y. (2015). Intensity as Violist. Poetry.
  12. Burke, M. Y. (2015). Market Day. Every River on Earth: Writing from Appalachian Ohio. Ohio University Press.
  13. Burke, M. Y. (2015). Brood. The Offending Adam.
  14. Burke, M. Y. (2015). Narcissus I. The Offending Adam.
  15. Burke, M. Y. (2015). Narcissus II. The Offending Adam.
  16. Burke, M. Y. (2014). Circles. The Laurel Review.
  17. Burke, M. Y. (2014). Seriously. The Laurel Review.
  18. Burke, M. Y. (2014). The Price of Cohabitation. The Laurel Review.
  19. Burke, M. Y. (2014). Chair. The Boiler.
  20. Burke, M. Y. (2014). Driving Alone. The Boiler.
  21. Burke, M. Y. (2014). Horse. Storyscape.
  22. Burke, M. Y. (2014). One Thousand Gray Day. Storyscape.
  23. Burke, M. Y. (2014). Only the Lake. The Boiler.
  24. Burke, M. Y. (2014). This Neighborhood. Parcel.
  25. Burke, M. Y. (2013). Laughter at the Wrong Moment. So to Speak.
  26. Burke, M. Y. (2013). Pacifisms. Georgetown Review.
  27. Burke, M. Y. (2013). Promises. So to Speak.
  28. Burke, M. Y. (2012). Dear One (Reprint). Deep Waters. Outrider Press.
  29. Burke, M. Y. (2012). North Country. Deep Waters. Outrider Press.
  30. Burke, M. Y. (2011). Delicate. Wordgathering.
  31. Burke, M. Y. (2011). Workhorse. Wordgathering.
  32. Burke, M. Y. (2011). On the Muse’s Departure by Train. The Fiddleback.
  33. Burke, M. Y. (2011). We Were Never Stones. Waccamaw.
  34. Burke, M. Y. (2009). Magician. Lake Effect. Penn State Erie.
  35. Burke, M. Y. (2009). Nocturne. Lake Effect. Penn State Erie.
  36. Burke, M. Y. (2009). Dear One. Spoon River Poetry Review.
  37. Burke, M. Y. (2009). Farmer’s Daughter. Spoon River Poetry Review.
  38. Burke, M. Y. (2009). Too Much, the Sunlight. Spoon River Poetry Review.
  39. Burke, M. Y. (2008). Cherry Tree. New Orleans Review.
  40. Burke, M. Y. (2008). Hardwood Horses. New Orleans Review.
  41. Burke, M. Y. (2008). When I Have Crossed. Yemassee.
  42. Burke, M. Y. (2006). Harvest. A Walk Through My Garden. Outrider Press.
  43. Burke, M. Y. (2006). When He Will Believe. Hotel Amerika.


CAL 103 Writing and Communications Colloquium
CAL 105 Knowledge, Nature, Culture: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Creativity
CAL 105 Knowledge, Nature, Culture: Perception, Deception, and the Making of Truth
HLI 227 Introduction to Writing Poetry
HLI 408 Creative Writing