Kelly Forsythe MFA ’11

Poet. Publicist. Historian.

Poet Kelly Forsythe finds inspiration in historical events.

Kelly Forsythe MFA ’11 considers herself an “emotional historian.” While double majoring in English and History during her undergraduate years at University of Pittsburgh, she found poetic inspiration in real-world events like the Titanic. Studying for her Poetry MFA at Columbia College Chicago, she jumped into classes like The Historical Poem, excited for the chance to weave together emotional resonance and historical facts.

Today, Forsythe is a publicist at poetry press Copper Canyon and teaches at the University of Maryland. Her first book, Perennial (Coffee House Press)—which includes poems she began in a Columbia classroom—grapples with the violence of a post-Columbine world. The collection has been featured by The Washington Post and the PBS Newshour