Boutelle, Annie 1943–

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Boutelle, Annie 1943–

(Ann Edwards Boutelle)


Born October 8, 1943, in Aberfeldy, Scotland; U.S. citizen; daughter of Alexander W. (a bank manager) and Jean F. (a hotel manager) Edwards; married William E. Boutelle (a physician), June 17, 1967; children: Jonathan, Laura, Alexander. Ethnicity: "Scottish." Education: University of St. Andrews, M.A., 1965; New York University, Ph.D., 1972. Politics: Democrat. Religion: Christian.


Home—Florence, MA. Office—Department of English, Smith College, Northampton, MA 01063. E-mail—[email protected]


Purnell School, Pottersville, NJ, French teacher, 1965-67; Suffolk University, Boston, MA, English teacher, 1970-80; Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, MA, English teacher, 1980-84; Smith College, Northampton, MA, senior lecturer in English, 1984—, and founder of Poetry Center.


Samuel French Morse Poetry Prize, Northeastern University, 2005, for Nest of Thistles.


Thistle and Rose: A Study of Hugh MacDiarmid's Poetry, Bucknell University Press (Lewisburg, PA), 1980.

Becoming Bone: Poems on the Life of Celia Thaxter (1835-1894), University of Arkansas Press (Fayetteville, AR), 2005.

Nest of Thistles (poetry), University Press of New England), 2005.

Contributor to periodicals, including Poetry, Hudson Review, Georgia Review, and Green Mountains Review.


Ann Boutelle told CA: "I was deeply influenced by the poetry that surrounded me in my Scottish childhood. Both my parents loved poetry and would often quote from memory (e.g. my father would refer to Shakespeare's ‘When sorrows come, they come not single spies, but in batallions,’ and my mother enjoyed reciting poems on public occasions like concerts). In primary school, we had to memorize many poems, and this continued into high school and university, where, in the essay exams, we were expected to quote from memory to back up our arguments. At Oban High School, Iain Crichton Smith, the distinguished Scottish poet, was my English teacher, and the rector of the school, John Maclean, was a brother of the great Gaelic poet of the twentieth century, Sorley Maclean. And at St. Andrews University I was very active in the student literary society, and helped organize a gathering of the Scottish poets. So poetry was everywhere! And it's not surprising that I wrote poems as a child, teenager, and university student. But when I came to the United States, I stopped writing poems; and it is only in the last eleven years that I have returned to poetry.

"Founding the Poetry Center at Smith in 1997 was not something I had anticipated, but its huge success (hundreds, and sometimes thousands, turn out for the readings) has been a great joy."



Annie Boutelle's Poetry, (July 17, 2007).