Claudia Keelan



Claudia Keelan is the author of six books of poetry, including Refinery (Cleveland State University Poetry Center Prize), Utopic (Alice James Books, 2001), and Missing Her (2009) from New Issues Press. A book of translations, Truth of My Songs: The Poems of the Trobairitz, is forthcoming from Omnidawn Press in 2015. Her honors include the Beatrice Hawley Award from Alice James Books, the Jerome Shestack Award from the American Poetry Review and a creative achievement award from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She is currently finishing a book of essays entitled “Ecstatic Émigré,” which originally appeared in various issues of the American Poetry Review. She teaches at the University of Nevada where she is Professor of English and Creative Writing, as well as editor of Interim.

“The poems in Refinery, her first major collection, everywhere attest to Keelan’s search for the true buried under the often deceptive surfaces of the real. These are poems of generosity, clarity, and moral subtlety. A luminous debut.” –Ann Lauterbach

Refinery is a wonderful book, the first book of a first-rate poet who deserves to be read and reread. Claudia Keelan shows us ‘the passed over / version of what is there.’ And it is the genius of her to reveal that which is usually passed over unseen—it is the bravery of her to see it, to share it. Hers is a harsh, demanding music. I recommend these poems for their (to quote Mallarme re Baudelaire) ‘Tutelary poison, always to be breathed even if we die from it.’” –Bill Knott

“Claudia Keelan’s poetry witnesses history through refinery smoke, capturing the brokenness of contemporary experience. Yet in marvelous poems like ‘The Sunflower,’ ‘Where the Train Meets the River,’ and ‘Refinery,’ the ‘evangelical sunflower’ of imagination thrives in the midst of disaster. There is terror in these poems; therein lies their beauty, to acknowledge the broken believers who must pray, inconsolably, to the ‘lord god brick wall’ or, threatened with madness, turn their faces to rain.” –Paul Hoover

More Information:

Poets and Writers




Academy of American Poets



Publication Date



Cleveland State University Poetry Center