The Elliston Poet-in-Residence

The George Elliston Poetry Fund has fostered the development of promising young poets and honored the achievement of established poets since 1951. Each year, through the Poet-in-Residence Program, a distinguished poet comes to UC to give public lectures and readings, while conducting seminars and workshops with graduate writers. The Elliston Fund also supports a writers series that has brought Nobel Prize Laureates, U.S. and British Poet Laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners, and National Book Award winners– from early campus residencies by Robert Frost to more recently hosted Elliston Poets such as Laureate Tracy K. Smith and 2017 Pulitzer Prize Winner Tyehimba Jess. Every reading has free and open to the public since the room's opening in 1951. 

Heid Erdrich: Poet-in-Residence for 2022

Heid Erdrich smiling in a green scarf

Heid E. Erdrich is the author of six collections of poetry, including Fishing For Myth (New Rivers, 1997), The Mother's Tongue (Salt, 2005), National Monuments (Michigan State University, 2008), and Cell Traffic: New and Selected Poems (University of Arizona Press, 2012). Her writing has won fellowships and awards from the National Poetry Series, Native Arts and Cultures Foundation, McKnight Foundation, Minnesota State Arts Board, Bush Foundation, Loft Literary Center, First People’s Fund, and other honors. She has twice won a Minnesota Book Award for poetry. Heid edited the 2018 anthology New Poets of Native Nations from Graywolf Press which won an American Book Award. Her most recent poetry collection, Little Big Bully, won the Balcones Prize. Heid grew up in Wahpeton, North Dakota and is Ojibwe enrolled at Turtle Mountain.

An interdisciplinary artist, her poemeos (poem films and videos) created in collaboration with Elizabeth Day, Jonathan Thunder and Trevino Brings Plenty, have won Best of Show and Best of Fest awards. Heid has curated dozens of art exhibits focused on Native American artists. In 2016, she was a contributing artist to the Creative City Challenge award-winning public art project Wolf and Moose by Christopher Lutter-Gardella. Heid has collaborated with Rosy Simas Danse since 2016, and she has contributed to works choreographed by Ananya Dance, Zorongo Flamenco Dance Theater, and others. Heid has written plays produced by Pangea World theater. She performs her poetry across the country, sometimes collaborating with musicians, visual artists, and dancers. Her first exhibit as a featured artist was Skew Lines, May 2019, created in a dual residency with Rosy Simas for SooVac gallery in Minneapolis.

Erdrich's Featured Events

Heid E. Erdrich
"Acts of Art: Poetry as Institutional Intervention"
March 7, 2022; 7:00 pm EST

Poet, curator, and collaborative interdisciplinary artist Heid E. Erdrich will lead a talk on poetry and text intervention at art museums, landmarks, colleges and other institutions. Audience will be asked to consider brief exercises for their own interventions. 


Heid E. Erdrich
Conversation: Poetry as Radicalization & Liberation for BIPOC and Marginalized People
March 9, 2022; 7:00 pm EST

Cosponsored by the Taft Research Center, this conversation with Erdrich is hosted by UC Faculty Poet Felicia Zamora. As part of the Poetry as Radicalization Series, this event is an exploration of poetry’s role in activism and social change with contemporary poets whose art directly reflects such inquiry and risk.


Heid E. Erdrich
Poetry Reading
March 10, 2022; 7:00 pm EST

Please join us for a reading by Heid E. Erdrich. We encourage you to purchase her work beforehand through Minneapolis' own Birchbark Books and Native Arts. Operated by "a spirited collection of people who believe in the power of good writing, the beauty of handmade art, the strength of Native culture," Birchbark curates its collection with care and with love for its community.

We are honored to have Erdrich as our 71st annual Elliston Poet in Residence.


Elliston Poets, 1951 to Present

Recordings of the Elliston Poets poets can be found in the Elliston Digital Archive.
Year, Poet Year, Poet
2021 Tyehimba Jess   1985 Richard Howard
2019 Mary Ruefle
1984 Jean Valentine
2018 Amit Majmudar 1983 Johh Silkin
2017 Denise Duhamel 1982 Thom Gunn
2016 Carl Phillips   1981 Carolyn Kizer
2015 Mary Szybist   1980 Michael Harper
2014 C. K. Williams 1979 John Ashbery
2013 Claudia Emerson 1978 Louise Gluck
2012 Terrance Hayes 1977 Philip Levine
2011 Albert Goldbarth 1976 Gary Snyder
2010 Alice Fulton   1975 William Stafford
2009 Lynn Emanuel 1974 Wendell Berry
2008 John Koethe 1973 Denise Levertov
2007 David St. John 1972 Robert Wallace
2006 Molly Peacock 1971 Louis Simpson
2005 Carl Dennis 1970 John Wain
2004 C. D. Wright   1969 John Hollander
2003 Linda Gregerson 1968 David Wagoner
2002 Henry Taylor 1967 Donald Justice
2001 Rodney Jones 1966 Donald Hall
2000 Jane Hirshfield 1965 Denis Donoghue
1999 Wyatt Prunty 1964 Daniel Hoffman
1998 Jay Wright
1963 Donald Davie
1997 Ellen Bryant Voigt 1962 John Press
1996 Dave Smith 1961 Richard Eberhart
1995 David Lehman 
1960 David Daiches
1994 Marilyn Nelson 1959 Karl Shapiro
1993 Heather McHugh 1958 Randall Jarrell
1992 John Haines 1957 John Betjeman
1991 Jane Flanders 1956 Peter Viereck
1990 Alfred Corn 1955 Robert Frost
1989 Marilyn Hacker 1954 Robert Lowell  
1988 Gary Soto 1953 Stephen Spender
1987 Mary Oliver 1952 John Berryman
1986 Marge Piercy 1951 Robert P. Tristam Coffin