Ingrid Wendt
1944 -   Class of 2008  Literary Arts
Ingrid Wendt has excelled in her chosen field of poetry for more than 30 years.  A book-length teaching guide she wrote, Starting with Little Things, is currently in its sixth printing and is used by teachers in the U.S. and Germany.  The guide also was selected to tour the Republic China in 1981 as part of the National Book Exhibition of the Association of American Publishers.  Ingrid has been a poet-in-residence at schools and universities across the nation for more than 25 years, most recently in the MFA program of Antioch University, Los Angeles.  

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Born in Aurora in 1944, Ingrid attended Bardwell Elementary School and Waldo Middle School before graduating from Oswego High School in 1962.  Although she went to Cornell College in Iowa intending to study music, she earned a B.A. in English, magna cum laude, from Cornell in 1966.  She went on to complete a Master of Fine Arts degree in Poetry from the University of Oregon in 1968.

A three-time Fulbright professor in Germany and a guest lecturer at several international universities, Ingrid Wendt is the author of 5 books of poems, 2 anthologies, dozens of articles and reviews, and more than 200 individual poems published in professional magazines and anthologies.  She has been poet-in-residence and given over 100 readings of her work at universities across the United States, as well as given readings and/or workshops in Germany, Italy, Finland, and Russia.

Among her many honors are the Oregon Book Award, the 2004 Editions Prize from WordTech Editions, the Yellowglen Award from Word Press, the Carolyn Kizer Award, several Pushcart nominations, and the D.H. Lawrence Award.  In October of 2006, she received the Distinguished Achievement Award from Cornell College.  Also in 2006, popular radio show host and commentator Garrison Keillor read two of Ingrid’s poems on “The Writer’s Almanac” broadcast by National Public Radio:  “Starting from Scratch” and “Prego.”

In addition to her love of poetry and teaching, Ingrid is also a skilled musician, participating as a singer as well as writing lyrics.  She has served on the board of directors of the Eugene Concert Choir and the Lane Arts Council.  Her a cappella ensemble of 10 women, the Motet Singers, have a newly released CD.  As a lyricist, she has worked with Audrey Snyder and publisher Hal Leonard Company on songs for young choirs.

Ingrid Wendt believes that poetry is for everyone and a way of sharing dreams and fears and hopes and values.  According to one of her nominators, Rev. Gary L. McCann of New England Congregational Church, “Ingrid’s poem ‘Sanctuary’ was inspired by her experiences at New England Church, and it has been included in a history of the church published for our 150th anniversary celebration.”

Ingrid Wendt’s talents have taken her to Germany, Finland, Russia, and back to Aurora and Oswego.  “When I dream, I dream of Aurora, places there, even my times at Bardwell School,” she said.  Although she may live far away, her writings reflect her roots in the Fox Valley.  “It delights me that not only am I being honored, but that poetry and writing are being honored too.”

Learn more about this award-winning poet at: www.ingridwendt.com
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 Author of books, poems, articles, song lyrics  Founding