Madeline DeFrees

Madeline DeFrees was born in Ontario, Oregon, in 1919. At age sixteen, she entered the convent of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, assuming the name of Sister Mary Gilbert for the next thirty-eight years. She has published eight previous volumes of poetry and two memoirs on her life as a nun. She taught at universities and colleges throughout the US, including the University of Massachusetts at Amherst where she directed the MFA program.

Awards and Honors

The Maxine Cushing Gray Endowed Libraries Visiting Writers Fellowship, 2008–9

Washingston State Book Award, 2007

Washington State Book Award, 2002

Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize, 2002

John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, 1981

National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship, 1981