Biography of Joyce Sutphen

Sutphen speaking after Governor Dayton, at right, announced her appointment as the Poet Laureate of Minnesota

Joyce Sutphen (born August 10, 1949) is an American poet, currently serving as Minnesota's Poet Laureate. She is the state's second laureate, appointed by Governor Mark Dayton in August, 2011. Sutphen also serves as a professor of English at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota.


Sutphen was raised in Saint Joseph, Minnesota and currently resides in the city of Chaska. She holds degrees from the University of Minnesota including her Ph.D. in Renaissance Drama.

Her first book of poetry, Straight Out of View (Beacon Press, 1995), won the Barnard New Women's Poets Prize. Her second, Coming Back to the Body (Holy Cow! Press, 2000), was a finalist for a Minnesota Book Award, and her third, Naming the Stars (2004), also from Holy Cow! Press, won the Minnesota Book Award in Poetry.

In 2005, Red Dragonfly Press published a fine press edition of Fourteen Sonnets.

Her poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Poetry, The Gettysburg Review, Water~Stone, Hayden's Ferry, Shenandoah, Luna.


  • 1994 Barnard Women Poets Prize
  • 2005 Minnesota Book Award for Poetry



  • Straight Out of View (Beacon Press 1995) .mw-parser-output cite.citation{font-style:inherit}.mw-parser-output .citation q{quotes:"\"""\"""'""'"}.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-free a{background:url("//")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-registration a{background:url("//")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-subscription a{background:url("//")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration{color:#555}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription span,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration span{border-bottom:1px dotted;cursor:help}.mw-parser-output .cs1-ws-icon a{background:url("//")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output code.cs1-code{color:inherit;background:inherit;border:inherit;padding:inherit}.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{display:block;font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error{font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-maint{display:block;color:#33aa33;margin-left:0.3em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration,.mw-parser-output .cs1-format{font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-left{padding-left:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-right{padding-right:0.2em}ISBN 978-0-8070-6825-0
  • Coming Back to the Body (Holy Cow! Press 2000) ISBN 978-0-930100-98-8
  • Naming the Stars (Holy Cow! Press 2004) ISBN 978-0-930100-05-6
  • First Words (Red Dragonfly Press 2010) ISBN 978-1-890193-91-1
  • After Words (Red Dragonfly Press 2013) ISBN 978-1-937693-28-2
  • Modern Love & Other Myths (Red Dragonfly Press 2015) ISBN 978-1-937693-68-8


  • Fourteen Sonnets (Red Dragonfly Press 2005)


  • To Sing Along the Way: Minnesota Women Poets from Pre-Territorial Days to the Present, Joyce Sutphen, Connie Wanek, Thom Tammaro, eds. (New Rivers Press 2006) ISBN 978-0-89823-232-5
  • 180 More: Extraordinary Poems for Every Day, Billy Collins, ed. (Random House 2005) ISBN 978-0-8129-7296-2
  • Boomer Girls: Poems by Women from the Baby Boom Generation, Pamela Gemin and Paula Sergi, eds. (University of Iowa Press 1999) ISBN 978-0-87745-687-2

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