Alison Swan

September 27, 2002

Alison Swan
Alison Swan’s poems and prose have appeared in many publications, including most recently The Dunes Review, TriQuarterly, and the books The Saugatuck Dunes: Artists Respond to a Freshwater Landscape (Saugatuck Dunes Coastal Alliance), which she coauthored, and Michigan: Our Land, Our Water, Our Heritage (University of Michigan Press/The Nature Conservancy). She is the creator of the book Fresh Water: Women Writing on the Great Lakes, a collection of creative nonfiction prose by well-known and emerging poets, fiction writers, and essayists. The Library of Michigan named Fresh Water: Women Writing on the Great Lakes (Michigan State University Press) a Michigan Notable Book. Swan's poem Porch Swing,” (Bloodroot Press) published as a limited edition, fine arts book and broadside is included in rare book collections throughout the U.S., including the New York Public Library, the University of Michigan, and Michigan State University.



Swan is Adjunct Professor of Environmental Studies at Western Michigan University, and she regularly presents talks and workshops for writers, environmentalists, and others, about the intersection of reading, writing, and ecological awareness. She has been a Mesa Refuge Fellow (Common Counsel Foundation) and she was co-winner with her husband David Swan, of the Michigan Environmental Council's Petoskey Prize for Grassroots Environmental Leadership for their ultimately successful efforts to preserve the wild duneland of  Saugatuck Dunes State Park. Presently, she works with the Saugatuck Dunes Coastal Alliance to protect and preserve the ecological, cultural, and historical character of the Saugatuck Dunes region.

Born in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, Swan graduated from Michigan State University with a B.A. in English Literature, and she received her M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of Michigan. After living in Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Seattle, Washington; and Cambridge, Massachusetts,  she has settled in Saugatuck, Michigan, with her family.

To view Special Collections' holdings of Alison Swan's work, please click here.

To hear Swan read from her own work, please visit the Vincent Voice Library, here.

Bio was updated on October 5, 2011.

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Last Updated: October 5, 2011