Max Garland is the author of The Word We Used for It, winner of the 2017-18 Brittingham Poetry Prize. Other books include The Postal Confessions, winner of the Juniper Prize for Poetry, and Hunger Wide as Heaven, which won the Cleveland State Poetry Center Open Competition, and a chapbook, Apparition, from the University of Wisconsin Press. His poems, essays, stories, and interviews have appeared in journals such as Poetry, New England Review, Gettysburg Review and many other journals, anthologies, and newspapers, and his poetry has been regularly featured on Wisconsin Public Radio. Garland is a graduate of Western Kentucky University and the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, and a former Jay C. and Ruth Halls Poetry Fellow at the University of Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing.
Additional honors and awards include an NEA Poetry Fellowship, a Michener Fiction fellowship, a Bush Foundation Literary Fellowship, the Tara Short Fiction Award, inclusion in Best American Short Stories, and fellowships in both poetry and fiction from the Wisconsin Arts Board. Born and raised in western Kentucky, Garland worked for nearly a decade as a rural letter carrier on the route where he was born, where his parents and grandparents lived, and the route his grandfather once delivered, an experience that laid the foundation for his first book of poems, The Postal Confessions.
Garland is currrently Professor Emeritus at UW-Eau Claire, where he taught creative writing, literature, and composition for many years, and he is the current Writer-in-Residence for the city of Eau Claire. He is also a songwriter and musician, a member of the band Eggplant Heroes, and has written librettos for several large choral music performances. He served as Poet Laureate of Wisconsin for the years 2013 and 2014, during which he traveled nearly 20,000 miles across the state as an advocate for poetry and the creative imagination, in support of the creative arts in public education, and encouraging wider access and participation in the arts for people of all ages.