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Ronald Wallace

Creative Writer / Poet

  • Fellow
  • 1996
Letters, Creative Writing, Poetry, Fiction

Ronald Wallace is Felix Pollak Professor of Poetry and Halls-Bascom Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He serves as co-director of the program in creative writing, which he began in 1975, and as editor of the University of Wisconsin Press Poetry Series (Pollak and Brittingham Prizes), which he founded in 1985. He served as director of the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing (a post-MFA fellowship program he founded) from 1985-1998.


Wallace received his B.A. degree from the College of Wooster in 1967 and his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 1971. He began teaching at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1972, becoming a full professor in 1982. Wallace has taught a variety of courses, including poetry and fiction workshops and nineteenth- and twentieth-century literature.  His research centers on contemporary American poetry and fiction and the humor found in both.


Wallace has received numerous awards that include: Vilas Associateship (1989-90), The Council for Wisconsin Writers Book Awards (1988, 1986, 1985, 1984), Chancellor's Development Award in the Creative Arts (1982-87), Wisconsin Arts Board Grants (1994, 1990, 1988-89, 1982, 1980, 1979), Helen Bullis Prize (1985), Distinguished Teaching Awards (1984, 1991, 2002), Porter Butts Award in the Creative Arts (1983), ACLS Fellowships (1981, 1975-76), Robert E. Gard Foundation Award (1990), Halls-Bascom Professorship (1993), Gerald A. Bartel Award in the Arts (1994), Wisconsin Library Association Notable Author (1994), Banta Award (1995), Hilldale Award (1998), Lynde and Harry Bradley Major (Lifetime) Achievement Award (1998), WARF (Felix Pollak) Professorship (1999), Mid-List Press "First Series Award: Short Fiction" (2000), Alliant Energy/Underkoffler Distinguished Teaching Award (2002), Posner Poetry Prize (2004), George Garrett Award (AWP, 2005).



  • For Dear Life, Poems (U. of Pittsburgh Press, 2015)
  • You Can’t Be Serious, Poems (Parallel Press, 2015)
  • For a Limited Time Only, Poems (U. of Pittsburgh Press, 2008)
  • Long for This World: New & Selected Poems (U. of Pittsburgh Press, 2003)
  • Quick Bright Things, stories (Mid-List Press, 2000)
  • The Uses of Adversity, poems (U. of Pittsburgh Press, 1998)
  • Time's Fancy, poems (U. of Pittsburgh Press, 1994)
  • The Makings of Happiness, poems (U. of Pittsburgh Press, 1991)
  • Vital Signs, poetry anthology (U. of Wisconsin Press, 1989)
  • People and Dog in the Sun, poems (U. of Pittsburgh Press, 1987)
  • God Be With the Clown, criticism (U. of Missouri Press, 1984)
  • Tunes for Bears to Dance To, poems (U. of Pittsburgh Press, 1983)
  • Plums, Stones, Kisses & Hooks, poems (U. of Missouri Press, 1981)
  • The Last Laugh, criticism (U. of Missouri Press, 1979)
  • Henry James and the Comic Form, criticism (U. of Michigan  Press, 1975)

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