Poet, essayist, librettist, and educator Ann E. Michael currently resides in eastern Pennsylvania, a mid-Atlantic valley region that influences much of her work. She is a past recipient of a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Fellowship in Poetry and earned her MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College, Plainfield VT, in 2003. Ms. Michael has written libretti for cantatas and choral works and is currently at work on an opera libretto for composer Alla Borzova.
Ann E. Michaels poems and essays have been widely published in many journals, including Poem, Natural Bridge, Ninth Letter, Runes, The Comstock Review, Diner, Sentence, Slant, ISLE, The Writers Chronicle, Schuylkill Valley Journal of the Arts and others, as well as in numerous literary anthologies. Her chapbooks include More than Shelter, The Minor Fauna, Small Things Rise & Go, and The Capable Heart. Her full-length collection, Water-Rites, was published July of 2012 and is available from Brick Road Poetry Press.
In addition to writing, Ann E. Michael is an educator whose current position as Writing Coordinator at DeSales University keeps her engaged with undergraduate students writing in a wide range of disciplines and encompassing remedial through advanced academic writing projects; she also teaches Introduction to Poetry. In the past, she has worked with students K-12 through artist-in-the-schools residencies and with ongoing writing-critique groups. Her expertise extends to editing and tutoring for academic and creative writing at all levels, undergraduate to professional.
[In these poems] the reader is given a microcosm of the manuscript as a whole; the living, the dying, the naming, the water—the endless cycles of life. Water-Rites takes its reader on an undulating lyrical journey that begins with witness, moves through understanding, and ends with a reinterpretation of what it means to be alive...a testimony to everything that continues to grow.
—Elena Georgiou, author of Mercy Mercy Me
Ann Michael, in Water-Rites, does not offer a quick rebalancing act, but plumbs the depths of loss and looks carefully at her surroundings to glean further meanings. Her observation is keen and her language reaches to encompass the rhythms inside what she observes, whether in nature, in relationship or struggling alone and in grief.
—Beatrix Gates, author of In the Open
By the conclusion of [Michaels] book, there is a sense of redemption. Like in nature, there is new life after death. In the poem
That Love Goes On, Michael writes that we learn
the sun will/reappear from behind fog or darkness, that water will/wet earth, make mud, produce the leaf and seed, before concluding the poem with the optimistic lines,
that death shuts out the purpose of/ears and eyes, that love goes on.
Water-Rites is a fine collection of lyric and narrative poems. The dead come alive through Michaels lines, as she tries to reconcile what she lost. The book also serves as a reminder that the universe can be a harsh place, even more so if we have little respect for nature and are not cautious about how our actions impact the environment.
—Brian Fanelli, author of Front Man