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Photo: Mike Minehan

Poet, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

Ellen Maria Gorrissen Fellow - Class of Spring 2005

John Koethe was born in San Diego in 1945. He graduated from Princeton in 1967, received a PhD in Philosophy from Harvard in 1973, and then taught in the philosophy department at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, retiring as Distinguished Professor in 2010. He was also the Elliston Poet in Residence at the University of Cincinnati in 2008 and the Bain-Swiggett Professor of Poetry at Princeton in 2010.


Koethe’s poetry books include Blue Vents (1968), Domes (1973), which received the Frank O’Hara Award, The Late Wisconsin Spring (1984), Falling Water (1997), which received the Kinsgley Tufts Award, The Constructor (1999), which was nominated for the New Yorker Book Award and the Lenore Marshall Prize; North Point North (2002), which was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, Sally’s Hair (2006), and Ninety-Fifth Street, which received the Lenore Marshall Prize. He also wrote The Continuity of Wittgenstein’s Thought (1996), Scepticism, Knowledge, and Forms of Reasoning (2005), and Poetry at One Remove: Essays (2000).


Koethe has received fellowships and awards from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and was named the first Poet Laureate of Milwaukee, in 2000.

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