Biography and Curriculum Vitae
Ingrid Wendt is the author of five full-length books of poems, one chapbook, two anthologies, a book-length teaching guide, numerous articles and reviews, and more than 200 individual poems in such magazines and anthologies as Poetry, Poetry Northwest, Antioch Review, Northwest Review, Ms., and No More Masks! An Anthology of 20th Century American Women Poets. Among her many honors, she was the "Featured Poet" in the Spring/Summer 2009 issue of Valparaiso Poetry Review.
Ingrid Wendt has taught literature and poetry writing for more than 30 years at all educational levels, including the MFA program of Antioch University Los Angeles and as a Poet-in-Residence at several colleges, most recently, Augsburg College, Minneapolis; at teacher-training institutes throughout the United States and in Germany; and in hundreds of public school classrooms, grades K-12, in Oregon, Washington, Utah, Illinois, Iowa, and overseas.
Honors include the Oregon Book Award, the 2004 Editions Prize from WordTech Editions, the 2003 Yellowglen Award from Word Press, the Carolyn Kizer Award, several Pushcart nominations, an Oregon Literary Arts Fellowship, and the D.H. Lawrence Award.
In 2006, she received a "Distinguished Achievement Award" from the president of Cornell College, her alma mater. In 2008, she was inducted into the Fox Valley Arts Hall of Fame, at a banquet in Geneva, Illinois, near her home town of Aurora. Two of her poems have been read on National Public Radio by Garrison Keillor of "The Writer's Almanac."
Ingrid Wendt is frequently invited to give poetry readings and workshops, and to provide inservice training for teachers. As a Senior Fulbright Professor at the University of Frankfurt/Main, Germany (1994-95), she taught American poetry and poetry writing, and pioneered a course for English language teachers in the use of creative writing in the classroom. In the summers of 2004 and 2005 she returned to Germany as a Fulbright Senior Specialist at the University of Freiburg. Under the auspices of the Amerika Haus/USIS program, she also has lectured and given poetry readings and teacher workshops throughout Germany and Italy.
A Poetry Consultant with the NCTE, she is a frequent keynote speaker, most recently at George Fox University during a celebration of the life and work of poet William Stafford, and at LiTFUSE, a weekend poetry festival in central Washington. She keynoted the opening of an International Studies Center at the University of Reading (UK) and a conference of the Oregon Council of Teachers of English. She has also taught sessions for National Writing Project institutes in Oregon, Washington, Utah, Oklahoma, and California. Her book Starting with Little Things: A Guide to Teaching Poetry in the Classroom, now in its sixth printing, is used by teachers throughout the United States and is distributed in Germany by Ernst Klett Schulbuchverlag, a leading publisher of educational materials.
Believing in the responsibility of writers to share their talents and to participate in the life of their communities, Ingrid Wendt has adjudicated literary contests and organized numerous poetry readings. Since 1982, she has been on the editorial board of Calyx, a Journal of Art and Literature by Women. Co-founder and past president of the Lane Literary Guild -- a non-profit organization providing services and venues for local and regional writers -- she has also served on the boards of directors of the Eugene Concert Choir and the Lane Arts Council. In 2003, and again in 2006, she directed the local campaign “Operation Paperback,” which collected and shipped over 5,000 used books to U.S. troops stationed overseas.
Born and raised in Aurora, Illinois, Ingrid Wendt received a bachelor's in English, with a Spanish minor, from Cornell College (Iowa) and an MFA from the University of Oregon. A pianist with 13 years of training, and a former church organist, she has studied with Rudolph Ganz at the Chicago Music College and currently is a member of The Motet Singers--an a cappella women’s ensemble of 10, which has just released its second CD. As a lyricist, working with composer Audrey Snyder, Ingrid’s songs for young choirs have been published with the Hal Leonard company and performed in schools across the country.
She is an avid scuba diver, a gardener, a hiker, the parent of a grown daughter who lives in New York City, a wife (of 40 years) to poet and writer Ralph Salisbury; and a student of languages. She divides her time between Eugene and Seal Rock, Oregon.
Of her poetry, Ingrid Wendt says the following:
“Most of my poems are grounded in real experience--my own, or that of others--and the ways that experience reflects upon our larger human condition. My first book of poems, Moving the House, is not only about a real house that my husband and I bought (for $20) from the MacDonald hamburger chain and moved across town. It is also about ourselves: what values we preserve and adapt in the face of a changing society. Poems in my second book, Singing the Mozart Requiem, focus on mortality--our human mortality, and that of the things of this world--and on the need to praise and celebrate the wonders around us.
“The Angle of Sharpest Ascending (full-length book) and Blow the Candle Out (chapbook), essays in the form of poetic sequences, speak of what it is to be German American, born in this country, and of the still unresolved grief and shame inherited by an entire generation of Germans born during and shortly after the Second World War. The poems are also an exploration of the presence and/or absence of guiding moral and ethical principles in our modern times. Surgeonfish My fourth full-length book, with poems set in Norway, Italy, the Middle East, and the American West, explores our human 'place' in the natural world and our uniquely American 'place' in the global order of things.
"Evensong, my most recent book, contains semi-autobiographical poems collected over the past 30 years: lyric meditations on love, spirit, memory, mortality, family dynamics, music, and how we communicate, process, and act on news from our troubled world."