Biography and Book List

Biography and Book List

Ronald Wallace is Felix Pollak Professor of Poetry and Halls-Bascom Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He serves as Co-Director of the Program in Creative Writing which he began in 1975, and as Editor of the University of Wisconsin Press Poetry Series (Pollak and Brittingham Prizes) which he founded in 1985. He served as Director of the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing (post-MFA fellowships) from 1985-1998. (To view Wallace’s faculty webpage, please choose UW Faculty Page To return to this page, please use your browser’s back button. To learn more about the Program in Creative Writing, please select UW Writing Program.

Wallace received his BA degree from the College of Wooster in 1967 and his PhD from the University of Michigan in 1971. He began teaching at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1972, becoming a Full Professor in 1982. Wallace has taught a variety of courses including Poetry and Fiction Workshops and Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Literature.

Wallace’s research centers on contemporary American poetry and fiction and the humor found in both, with a special interest in recent poetry in traditional forms and the short-short story.

Wallace has received numerous awards including: Vilas Associateship (1989-90), The Council for Wisconsin Writers Book Awards (1988, 1986, 1985, 1984), Chancellor’s Development Award in the Creative Arts (1982-87), Wisconsin Arts Board Grants (1994, 1990, 1988-89, 1982, 1980, 1979), Helen Bullis Prize (1985), Distinguished Teaching Awards (1984, 1991, 2002), Porter Butts Award in the Creative Arts (1983), ACLS Fellowships (1981, 1975-76), Robert E. Gard Foundation Award (1990), Halls-Bascom Professorship (1993), Gerald A. Bartel Award in the Arts (1994), Wisconsin Library Association Notable Author (1994), Banta Award (1995), Hilldale Award (1998), Lynde and Harry Bradley Major (Lifetime) Achievement Award (1998), WARF (Felix Pollak) Professorship (1999), Mid-List Press “First Series Award: Short Fiction” (2000), Alliant Energy/Underkoffler Distinguished Teaching Award (2002), Posner Poetry Prize (2004), George Garrett Award (AWP, 2005).

For in-depth biographical information, please select autobiography or criticism and biography.



  • For a Limited Time Only (U. of Pittsburgh Press, 2008)
  • Long for This World: New & Selected Poems (U. of Pittsburgh Press, 2003)
  • Quick Bright Things, stories (Mid-List Press, 2000)
  • The Uses of Adversity, poems (U. of Pittsburgh Press, 1998)
  • Time’s Fancy, poems (U. of Pittsburgh Press, 1994)
  • The Makings of Happiness, poems (U. of Pittsburgh Press, 1991)
  • Vital Signs, poetry anthology (U. of Wisconsin Press, 1989)
  • People and Dog in the Sun, poems (U. of Pittsburgh Press, 1987)
  • God Be With the Clown, criticism (U. of Missouri Press, 1984)
  • Tunes for Bears to Dance To, poems (U. of Pittsburgh Press, 1983)
  • Plums, Stones, Kisses & Hooks, poems (U. of Missouri Press, 1981)
  • The Last Laugh, criticism (U. of Missouri Press, 1979)
  • Henry James and the Comic Form, criticism (U. of Michigan Press, 1975)

For information on ordering books, please select Publisher Information.


Over 600 poems in magazines and anthologies, including The Atlantic, The New Yorker, Poetry, The Nation, American Poetry Review, The Paris Review, The Southern Review, Poetry Northwest, Prairie Schooner, Yale Review, Shenandoah, and Gettysburg Review.

To read Wallace’s personal choice of his ten best poems, please choose Selected Poems.


Over two dozen stories in magazines and anthologies, including The Alaska Quarterly Review, Cream City Review, Beloit Fiction Journal, Crosscurrents, Jeopardy, Descant, Flash Fictions, Key West Review, The Laurel Review, North American Review, Sun Dog, Sou’Wester, and Negative Capability.


Essays have appeared in College English, Colorado Quarterly, Essays in Literature, Genre, Nineteenth-Century Fiction, Scholarly Publishing, Studies in the Novel, Texas Studies in Literature and Language, Wisconsin Academy Review, and AWP Chronicle.