Liz Waldner was raised in rural Mississippi. She received a B.A. in philosophy and mathematics from St. John’s College, studied at the French School at Middlebury, and received an M.F.A. from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Waldner was a Regents Fellow in the Communication Department at the University of California, San Diego.
She is the author of eight poetry collections, most recently Play (Lightful Press) and Trust (winner of the Cleveland State University Poetry Center Open Competition). Her collection, Dark Would (the missing person) (University of Georgia Press), was the winner of the 2002 Contemporary Poetry Series; her collection, Self and Simulacra (2001), won the Beatrice Hawley Award; and her collection, A Point Is That Which Has No Part (2000), received the 1999 Iowa Poetry Prize and the 2000 James Laughlin Award. Other honors include grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the Boomerang Foundation, the Gertrude Stein Award for Innovative Poetry and the Barbara Deming Memorial Award, and fellowships from the Vermont Studio Center, the Djerassi Foundation, Centrum, Hedgebrook, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Villa Montalvo, Fundación Valparaiso and the MacDowell Colony.
Waldner’s poem “The Ballad of Barding Gaol”, along with others, won the Poetry Society of America’s Robert M. Winner Memorial Award, and her poetry has appeared in literary journals and magazines such as Ploughshares, Poetry, The New Yorker, The American Poetry Review, The Journal, Parnassus West, The Cortland Review, Electronic Poetry Review, Colorado Review,Denver Quarterly, New American Writing, Indiana Review, Abacus, and VOLT.