Cecilia Woloch was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and grew up there and in rural Kentucky, one of seven children of a homemaker and an airplane mechanic. She is the author of four award-winning collections of poems: Sacrifice, a BookSense 76 Selection in 2001; Tsigan: The Gypsy Poem; Late, for which she was named Georgia Author of the Year in 2004; and Narcissus, winner of the Tupelo Press Snowbound Prize for the chapbook in 2006. A fifth collection of poems, entitled Carpathia, was published by BOA Editions in 2009. Maxine Kumin says of Cecilia Woloch’s poetry: “To write movingly about love in an era infused with hate requires a special gift: nostalgia hard-edged with realism. She has that gift.”
A celebrated teacher, Ms. Woloch has conducted poetry workshops for thousands of children and young people throughout the United States and around the world, as well as workshops for professional writers, educators, participants in Elderhostel programs for senior citizens, inmates at a prison for the criminally insane, and residents at a shelter for homeless women and their children. In 1999 she became the founding director of Summer Poetry in Idyllwild, and in 2003 launched an outreach program for at-risk youth in conjunction with The Georgia Institute of Technology and Communities in Schools of Atlanta, as well as the annual Paris Poetry Workshop. She has served on the faculties of a number of graduate and undergraduate creative writing programs, and since 2006 has been a lecturer in the creative writing program at the University of Southern California. She is the founding director of Summer Poetry in Idyllwild and of The Paris Poetry Workshop.
Ms. Woloch received her MFA from Antioch University in 1999, with thesis manuscripts in both poetry and creative nonfiction. Her essays and reviews have appeared in such publications as New Southerner, Poetry International, The Poetry Flash, Calyx and the journal Elsewhere, which awarded her the Scott Russell Sanders Prize for her essay, “Carpathian Dreams,” slated to be published as a limited edition chapbook in 2009. She has received fellowships from the California Arts Council, Hawthornden Castle International Retreat for Writers, the Isaac W. Bernheim Foundation, Chateau de la Napoule Foundation in France, CEC/ArtsLink International Partners, and the Center for International Theatre Development.
Ms. Woloch has collaborated with visual artists, musicians and dancers. Her poems have been translated into French, German and Polish, and recent prose has been published in Ukrainian. She spends a part of each year traveling, and in recent years has divided her time between Los Angeles and Idyllwild, California; Atlanta, Georgia; Shepherdsville, Kentucky; Paris, France; and a small village in the Carpathian mountains of southeastern Poland.