Dr. James Armstrong
PhD Boston University
MFA Western Michigan University
James Armstrong is a Midwestern native: he grew up on the sand plains of southern Michigan and went to Northwestern University as an undergraduate. He has an M.F.A. from Western Michigan University and a Ph.D. in American Literature from Boston University. Armstrong's scholarly essay on John James Audubon appeared in Animal Acts: Configuring the Human in Western History (Routledge 1997). Armstrong has taught creative writing and American literature at Northwestern University and at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago's Writing Program.
He has published poems and essays in TriQuarterly, RHINO, Porcupine, Gulf Coast, Orion, Poetry East and other journals. Armstrong received the PEN-New England Discovery Prize for poetry in 1996, and he has been awarded both an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in poetry and a Minnesota State Arts Board Fellowship in poetry. He was an artist in residence at Isle Royale in 1994 and on Grand Island National Recreation Area in 2004. His first book of poems, Monument in a Summer Hat, was published in the fall of 1999 (New Issues Press). His latest book, Blue Lash, came out in April 2006 from Milkweed Editions.
His poem The Wreck was anthologized in Where One Voice Ends, Another Begins, a collection of Minnesota poetry published by the Minnesota Historical Society Press (2007). In October of 2007, he was appointed Poet Laureate of the City of Winona. Armstrong lives in downtown Winona with his wife, Laura, and their two daughters, Dot and Pippa.