David Anthony Baker

Born: 1954

Ohio connection: Resident


David Baker was born in Bangor, Maine, and grew up in Central Missouri where he earned a B.S.E. in 1976 and an M.A. in 1977. After earning a Ph.D. from the University of Utah in 1983, Baker made his way to Ohio to teach English as an assistant professor at Kenyon College. Since 1984, Baker has been Professor of English at Denison University in Granville, Ohio, teaching creative writing, poetry writing, American and modern literature, and poetic theory. He holds the Thomas B. Fordham Chair of Creative Writing at the university and serves as poetry editor for The Kenyon Review.

Baker is the author of more than twelve collections of poetry, including: Haunts (1985), Sweet Home, Saturday Night (1991), The Truth about Small Towns (1998), Changeable Thunder (2001), Midwest Eclogue (2007), Never-Ending Birds (2009), Scavenger Loop (2015), Swift: New and Selected Poems (2019), and Whale Fall: Poems (2022). He has also written two critical works: Meter in English: A Critical Engagement (1996), Heresy and the Ideal: On Contemporary Poetry (2000). His poems and essays have appeared in American Poetry Review, The Atlantic Monthly (The Atlantic), The Nation, The New Republic, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Poetry, Slate, The Yale Review, and others. He has received fellowships and awards from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Poetry Society of America, the Society of Midland Authors, and the Ohio Arts Council.

Baker currently resides in the “small, quiet, New England-style town” of Granville, Ohio.

First Prize for Poetry from Utah Arts Council, 1981, for “Call across the Years”; Bridgman scholar at Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, 1982; James Wright Prize for Poetry, Mid-American Review, 1983, for “Ephemerae”; poetry fellow, National Endowment for the Arts, 1985; Ohio Poet of the Year, Ohio Poetry Association, 1991; Distinguished Alumnus award, Central Missouri State University, 1992; Poetry Book of the Year, Society of Midland Authors, 1992; Poetry Fellow, Ohio Arts Council, 1997, 2000; Ohioana Book Award, 1998, for The Truth about Small Towns; Lifetime Achievement Award, Ohioana Library Association, 1998, for contributions to the field of poetry; research fellowship, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, 2000-01; Iowa Review, Tim McGinnis Award, 2002


Additional Resources

Wikipedia Article: David Baker

Denison University “Mentions” David Baker