about annie


    stone and water

    to the centre

    words and color


Annie the Bard, Ann Bardens-McClellan

Ann with books

I came to poetry late, while rearing my five children and going back to school. Since I taught a full load of writing classes at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, while getting my degrees, I wrote with my students. By giving readings, I found my audience. Since then I have published widely and continue to give readings at the drop of a hat (I wear hats while I read—I'm such a ham).

After moving to Michigan in 1986 to take a job at Central Michigan University, I hooked up with a wonderful northern Michigan artist, Eileen Paul Millard. We give performances: I read my poetry, she shows slides of her artworks, and we have put the whole thing to music. We also give Words and Color Workshops. In 1992 Canoe Press published our book of poetry and artworks, Stone and Water. Our second book, Journey to the Centre, is now in print.


publications and honors
  • the Abbie M. Copps Poetry Award, won first in 1986, judged by Etheridge Knight, and second in 1990, judged by Colette Inez

  • the Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Award, 1999

  • publication in the National Poetry Competition Winners, sponsored by the Chester H. Jones Foundation, 1990

  • Stone and Water, Canoe Press, 1992

  • publication in anthologies in California, Nebraska, and Michigan

  • publication in journals including Kansas Quarterly, Plainsongs, and The McGuffin

  • Backward Child published in an anthology, Times of Sorrow, Times of Grace, Backwater Press, Omaha, Nebraska

  • the poem Haircut awarded the top prize at the 2008 Poet's Night Out competition in Traverse City

  • the poem Truth and Fiction won Honorable Mention in the Shaw Competition and was published in Dunes Review, 2008