David Bottoms

David Bottoms’s first book, Shooting Rats at the Bibb County Dump, was chosen by Robert Penn Warren as winner of the 1979 Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of American Poets. His poems have appeared widely in magazines such as The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Harper’s, Poetry, and The Paris Review, as well as in sixty anthologies and textbooks. He is the author of eight other books of poetry, two novels, and a book of essays and interviews. His most recent book of poems, Otherworld, Underworld, Prayer Porch, was released by Copper Canyon in the spring of 2018. Among his other awards are the Frederick Bock Prize and the Levinson Prize, both from Poetry magazine, an Ingram Merrill Award, an award in literature from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation. He has given readings at over 250 colleges and universities across the country, as well as at the Guggenheim Museum, the Library of Congress, and the American Academy in Rome. He has served as the Richard Hugo Poet-in-Residence at the University of Montana, the Ferrol Sams Distinguished Writer at Mercer University, and the Chaffee Visiting Writer at Johns Hopkins University. He lives with his wife and daughter in Atlanta, where he holds the Amos Distinguished Chair in English Letters at Georgia State University. A book of essays on his work, David Bottoms: Critical Essays and Interviews, edited by William Walsh, was published in 2010. He is the recipient of a 2011 Governor’s Award for the Arts and Humanities, sponsored by the Georgia Humanities Council, and he served for twelve years as Poet Laureate of Georgia.

Awards and Honors


Poet Laureate of the state of Georgia

Poetry’s Levinson Prize

Ingram Merrill Foundation Fellowship

 Walt Whitman Award, Academy of American Poets

Georgia Author of the Year Award

Frederick Bock Prize

John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship

National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship

Georgia Governor’s Award for the Arts and Humanities

Award in Literature from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters