Renee Ashley
Renee Ashley, author of Because I Am the Shore, I Want to be the Sea, Poetry Faculty, Fairleigh Dickinson University low-residency MFA in Creative Writing
Renee Ashley, Poetry Faculty, Fairleigh Dickinson University MFA in Creative Writing, FDU, Because I Am the Shore, I Want to Be the Sea

Renée Ashley

Renee Ashley, poet

Renee Ashley, FDU MFA Poetry Faculty

Renée Ashley is the author of six volumes of poetry, The View from the Body (Black Lawrence Press); Because I Am the Shore I Want to Be the Sea (Subito Press, Univ. of Colorado—Boulder); Basic Heart (X. J. Kennedy Poetry Prize, Texas Review Press); The Various Reasons of Light; The Revisionist’s Dream; Salt (Brittingham Prize in Poetry, Univ. of Wisconsin Press), two chapbooks, The Verbs of Desiring (New American Press Chapbook Prize), and The Museum of Lost Wings (Hill-Stead Museum Sunken Garden Poetry Competition), and a novel, Someplace Like This, as well as numerous essays and reviews. Her awards include a Great Lakes Colleges Association New Writers Award, a Pushcart Prize, a Kenyon Review Award for Literary Excellence, the Charles Angoff Award from The Literary Review, an American Literary Review Poetry Prize, The Robert Watson Literary Prize in Poetry from Greensboro Review, a Black Warrior Review Poetry Award, the Chelsea Poetry Award, The Open Voice Award in Poetry from the Writers Voice, West Side Y, NY, NY, and the Robert H. Winner Award and the Ruth Lake Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America.
She has been a fellow at the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and has received fellowships in both poetry and prose from New Jersey State Council on the Arts as well as a fellowship in poetry from the National Endowment of the Arts. She has served as Assistant Poetry Coordinator for the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and as Writer-in-Residence at Rockland Center for the Arts and Distinguished Visiting Writer at Wichita State University. A portion of her poem “First Book of the Moon” is in marble in Penn Station Terminal in Manhattan, part of a permanent installation by Larry Kirkland. She is a poetry editor of The Literary Review and a member of the faculty of Fairleigh Dickinson University’s low-residency MFA Program and the MA in Creative Writing and Literature for Educators.
Renee Ashley teaches poetry in the MFA program at Fairleigh Dickinson University.



Books & Publications

  • 1992: Salt (poetry)
  • 1998: The Various Reason of Light (poetry)
  • 2001: The Revisionist’s Dream (poetry)
  • 2003: Someplace Like This (novel)
  • 2006: The Museum of Lost Wings (chapbook)
  • 2009: Basic Heart (poetry)
  • 2010: The Verbs of Desiring (chapbook)
  • 2013: Because I Am the Shore I Want to Be the Sea
  • 2016: The View from the Body



  • 2009: New American Press Chapbook Competition, Winner
  • 2008: X. J. Kennedy Award in Poetry, Texas Review Press, Winner
  • 2008: Associate Artist, Atlantic Center for the Arts
  • 2006: Full Fellowship, Vermont Studio Center
  • 2005: Distinguished Poet in Residence, Wichita State University, Kansas
  • 2003-2004: Fellowship in Poetry, New Jersey State Council on the Arts
  • 1997: National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry