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Brenda Marie Osbey

New Orleans, Louisiana, United States


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Poet Laureate, Louisiana.

Brenda Marie Osbey is the author of All Saints: New and Selected Poems (LSU Press, 1997), which received the 1998 American Book Award. She is the author also of Desperate Circumstance, Dangerous Woman (Story Line Press, 1991), In These Houses (Wesleyan University Press, 1988) and Ceremony for Minneconjoux (Callaloo Poetry Series, 1983; University Press of Virginia, 1985).

Her poems have appeared in numerous journals, anthologies and collections including Callaloo, Obsidian, Essence, Southern Exposure, Southern Review, Early Ripening: American Women's Poetry Now, The Made Thing: An Anthology of Contemporary Southern Poetry, 2PLUS2: A Collection of International Writing, Literature of the American South: A Norton Anthology, Epoch, The American Voice, and The American Poetry Review.

Her essays on New Orleans appear in The American Voice, Georgia Review, BrightLeaf and Creative Nonfiction. Her essays on Black life in contemporary France appear in the Gambit Weekly.

Osbey is the recipient of other fellowships and awards, including: Camargo Foundation Fellowship, Cassis France (2004); Louisiana Division of the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship (1993); New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation Maxi-Grant (1993); National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Creative Writing Fellowship (1990); Associated Writing Programs (AWP) Poetry Award (1984); the Academy of American Poets Loring-Williams Prize (1980). She has been a fellow of the MacDowell Colony, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the Kentucky Foundation for Women, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Millay Colony, and the Bunting Institute of Radcliffe College, Harvard University.

Studies of her work appear in The Oxford Companion to African American Literature (Oxford, 1997), Forms of Expansion: Recent Long Poems by Women by Lynn Keller (U. Chicago Press, 1997) and The Future of Southern Letters, edited by Jefferson Humphries and John Lowe (Oxford, 1996).

Brenda Marie Osbey received the B.A. from Dillard University, the M.A. from the University of Kentucky, and also attended the Université Paul Valéry at Montpélliér, France. She has taught French and English at Dillard University in New Orleans, African American and Third World literatures at the University of California at Los Angeles, African American literature and creative writing at Loyola University, and was visiting writer-in-residence at Tulane University.

Brenda Marie Osbey is a native of New Orleans. In Spring 2005, she was appointed Poet Laureate of the State of Louisana.

Interests: African languages; Afro-francophone literature; Romance languages (French, Portuguese, Italian); tranlsations; poetry in translation; antiquarian books.

Published writer: Yes

Freelance: No


Published works:


  • "Notes from France"
  • Faubourg Tremé: Community in Transition
  • Poetry

  • Desperate Circumstance, Dangerous Woman
  • Qu’on arrive enfin (bilingual French-English)
  • Ceremony for Minneconjoux
  • In These Houses
  • Ceremony for Minneconjoux
  • ALL SAINTS: New & Selected Poems
  • “Canne à Sucre: A Slave-Song Suite"