Deborah Cummins is the author of an essay collection, Here and Away: Discovering Home on an Island in Maine, and two collections of poetry, Counting the Waves and Beyond the Reach. Her poems and essays have appeared in nine anthologies, more than sixty journals and magazines, the “American Life in Poetry” syndicated newspaper column, and multiple times on Garrison Keillor’s The Writer's Almanac.
The recipient of numerous awards, Cummins was most recently the winner of the 2013 and 2012 Maine Literary Award in Short Works of Nonfiction and was a finalist for the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance 2013 Book Award in Nonfiction. Additionally, one of her essays was listed as Notable in the Best American Essays 2013 anthology. Her fellowships include artist residencies at Yaddo, MacDowell Colony, Ragdale Foundation, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. She has also been a visiting artist at the American Academy in Rome, Italy.
A graduate of the MFA program at the University of Houston, she has taught at the University of Chicago and the Center for Talent Development at Northwestern University, led workshops at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art and Newberry Library, been a visiting writer at Lyon College, the University of Nebraska at Kearney, and the School of the Art Institute in Chicago, as well as at numerous high schools. For the past five years, she has curated poetry events for the Opera House in Stonington, Maine.
Cummins has given a variety of public readings and talks at bookstores, libraries, conferences, festivals, and galleries, and in lecture and reading series. She has been interviewed on radio programs in Chicago, Kansas City, and Portland, Maine.
Cummins is the president of MWPA’s board of directors. From 2001 to 2005, she was the first Chair of the Board of the Poetry Foundation and served on the board until 2011. She currently serves as a Trustee of the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts. She resides in Deer Isle and Portland.