Elizabeth Lindsey Rogers’s debut collection, Chord Box (University of Arkansas Press, 2013), was the finalist for the Miller Williams Poetry Prize. Lambda Literary praised the book as “mature, incisive, wise…seamless and congruent from the first to the last poem.” Rogers’s poems appear in The Missouri Review, The Kenyon Review Online, FIELD, Crab Orchard Review, Crazyhorse, AGNI Online, Prairie Schooner, Mid-American Review, and many others. Her nonfiction recently appeared on The Rumpus.
She received her B.A. in Creative Writing and Dance from Oberlin College in 2007 and an M.F.A from Cornell University in 2011. From 2007-2009, she was an Oberlin Shansi Fellow in Taigu, China. Rogers was awarded the 2012-2014 Kenyon Review Fellowship. She is an editor at The Kenyon Review, and teaches at Kenyon College.
On what Oberlin did for Rogers and her writing:
I first came to Oberlin as a double-degree student, with classical guitar performance as my conservatory major, but I found myself being pulled to create in other art forms—poetry, dance—from the very beginning. In 2005, an independent project with Professor Martha Collins begin to pull the first real poems out of me, poems that took on subjects I thought I’d never be brave enough to address. It was Martha Collins’s encouragement and mentorship that helped me see myself as a writer, showing me that even someone young might have important things to say. Years later, a number of those poems found their way into my first book, Chord Box.
In my senior year at Oberlin, the good folks at Oberlin Shansi awarded me a two-year fellowship to Taigu, China. I arrived in Shanxi Province 2007, having never before left the United States, and not knowing a word of Mandarin. But my struggle to learn the language had an unforeseen effect: it re-defined my relationship to language, changing my poetry forever. Later, in graduate school, I finished my book manuscript, including a number of poems that address the years I lived in China.
In 2012, when the book manuscript was selected for publication, my editor could hardly believe when I explained that I’d written some of the poems as an undergraduate. I explained to her that I was blessed with wonderful mentors, one of the hallmarks of an Oberlin education.
Elizabeth Lindsey Rogers (’07)