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Kelly Cherry is poet laureate of Virginia. She has published 20 books of fiction, poetry and nonfiction; eight chapbooks; and translations of two classical plays. Her most recent titles are "The Retreats of Thought: Poems" (2009) and "Girl in a Library: On Women Writers & the Writing Life" (2009). She was the first recipient of the Hanes Poetry Prize given by the Fellowship of Southern Writers for a body of work. Other honors include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Rockefeller Foundation and the Bradley Major Achievement (Lifetime) Award. Cherry is Eudora Welty Professor Emerita of English and Evjue-Bascom Professor Emerita in the Humanities at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.