Ann Townsend is the author of three full-length collections of poetry: Dime Store Erotics (Silverfish Review Press, 1998), The Coronary Garden (Sarabande Books, 2005), and Dear Delinquent (Sarabande Books, 2019), which was named a “New and Notable” book in The New York Times. Her poetry and essays have appeared in Poetry, The Paris Review, The American Poetry Review, The Kenyon Review, and elsewhere. Her poetry and essays have been widely published and anthologized. Since 1992 she has taught creative writing, 19th and 20th century poetry, translation, and environmental literature at Denison University, where she is professor and director of creative writing. She is also an award-winning hybridizer of modern daylilies at her flower farm in Granville, OH.
In addition to her collections, she is the author of three chapbooks of poetry; The Braille Woods, Holding Katherine (with David Baker), Main Traveled Roads Press, and Modern Love. She is the author/editor (with David Baker) of Radiant Lyre: Essays on Lyric Poetry.
Townsend is a winner of the “Discovery”/ The Nation Poetry Prize and the James Dickey Prize in Poetry, she has received grants from the Ohio Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts. She is the recipient of Fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, MacDowell, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest, and the Lannan Foundation.
In 2009, she and her co-founders Erin Belieu and Cate Marvin founded VIDA: Women in Literary Arts to address gender inequality in the field of literary publishing and editing. Initiatives included The Count, which tallied gender inequity in literary editing and publishing, and a VIDAship program to support emerging women writers. In 2016, Townsend, Marvin, and Belieu were awarded the Poets & Writers/Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award, which honors those who have made substantial, game-changing contributions to the larger literary community.
While at MacDowell in 2023, she worked on her fourth collection of poetry, We Were Neutral in the War, and her second collection of essays, American Bittersweet: Essays on Poetry and Nature.