Gillian Conoley

Professor, Creative Writing (Poetry)

Gillian Conoley
Gillian Conoley


Office Hours

During her 25+ years teaching at SSU, Gillian taught undergraduate and graduate Poetry Workshops, Cross-genre workshops, Directed Writing, Small Press Editing, Studies in Poetry, and a range of other courses including Literary Analysis, Gender in Literature, and Rogue Women Writers. She was the founder-editor of Volt, SSU's nationally regarded literary magazine, and advisor to Zaum, SSU's award-winning student literary magazine. She also directed Writers at Sonoma, an annual reading series presenting new and well-known writers to SSU students and the general public. Gillian has a special interest in modern, postmodern and innovative poetry, feminism, cross-genre work, the history of the book, narrative, translation, and visual/verbal collaboration and innovation.


Gillian Conoley published her tenth collection of poetry,  Notes from the Passenger, with Nightboat Books in May 2023. It is available for order on their website.

Individual poems from the book appeared in Harper's, American Poetry Review, A Public Space, Conjunctions, jubilat, diSonare (Mexico City), FENCE, Castle Grey Skull, High Noon, and The Volta.

Conoley's 2014 collection of poetry, Peace, was named an Academy of American Poets Stand-out Book for 2014 and a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award. She is the author of ten collections of poetry including The Plot GenieProfane Halo, Lovers in the Used World, and Tall Stranger, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Conoley’s work has received the Jerome J. Shestack Poetry Prize, a National Endowment for the Arts grant, and a Fund for Poetry Award, and has been anthologized in more than 20 national and international anthologies, including W.W. Norton’s Postmodern American Poetry (second edition), W.W. Norton’s American Hybrid, Counterpath’s Postmodern Lyricism, and Oscar Mondadori’s Nuova Poesia Americana.

Conoley’s translations of Henri Michaux, Thousand Times Broken: Three Books by Henri Michaux, appeared with City Lights in 2014, and was named one of the top ten poetry books of 2014 by Publisher’s Weekly.

Conoley has an MFA from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and a BFA in Journalism from Southern Methodist University. She has taught as a Visiting Poet at the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, University of Denver, Vermont College MFA Program, Texas State University, and Tulane University. She has taught at SSU since 1994.

Selected Publications & Presentations

PEACE, collection of poetry, Omnidawn Publishing, 2014.

THE PLOT GENIE, collection of poetry, Omnidawn Publishing, 2009.

PROFANE HALO, collection of poetry, Wave Books, 2005.

Other books include: LOVERS IN THE USED WORLD. Collection of poetry. Finalist for Bay Area Book Award. Carnegie-Mellon University Press. 2001.

BECKON. Collection of poetry. Carnegie-Mellon University Press. 1996.

TALL STRANGER. Collection of poetry. Finalist National Book Critics' Circle Award. Carnegie-Mellon University Press. 1991.

SOME GANGSTER PAIN. Collection of poetry. Carnegie-Mellon University Press. 1987.


Thousand Times Broken: Three Books by Henri MichauxCity Lights. 2014.


POSTMODERN AMERICAN POETRY, Second Edition, W.W. Norton, Spring 2012.

AMERICAN HYBRID, W.W. Norton Anthology, 2009.

Published poems:

The Right to Be Forgotten,” Conjunctions 2015

Thank You for the Afterlight” in The Volta, Issue 27, September 2014

Excerpts from translations of Henri Michaux’s “Watchtowers on Targets” in The Volta, Issue 21, March 2014

"Begins" in Conjunctions, 2012.

"A Hatchet With Which to Chop at the Frozen Seas Inside Us," "late democracy," and "Opened" in The Brooklyn Rail, May 2012.

Henri Michaux translation of FOUR HUNDRED MEN ON THE CROSS, excerpts in a special supplement of The American Poetry Review, July/August 2012.

Article on Volt being named one of country's top literary magazines