Laura Donnelly was born in Lake City, Michigan, and grew up on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan. Originally trained as a classical pianist, Donnelly’s poems listen closely to small moments and gestures – a change in weather, a music note’s echo – and use these to explore bigger questions of identity and culture.
Her first full-length collection of poetry, Watershed, won the 2013 Cider Press Review Editors’ Prize and was a finalist for the Brittingham and Pollak Prizes. She is also the author of a chapbook, Nocturne – Schumann’s Letters (Finishing Line Press, 2010), and her poems have been published in Rhino, Cimarron Review, Typo, Third Coast, PANK, Flyway, CutBank, Poetry East, DIAGRAM, and elsewhere.
An Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing at the State University of New York at Oswego, Donnelly holds a PhD in English/Creative Writing from Western Michigan University and an MFA from Purdue University. Her teaching interests include poetry and nonfiction writing, 19th and 20th century British literature, literary publishing, and gender studies. She is a former Editor-in-Chief of the national literary journal Third Coast and the recipient of fellowships from the Corporation of Yaddo, the Ragdale Foundation, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. She lives in Central New York with her husband, Ben.