Dr. Virginia Gilbert has a Ph.D. in Creative Writing-Poetry and English from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, a MFA in Creative Writing-Poetry from the Iowa Writers Workshop, and a B. A. in English from Iowa Wesleyan College. Gilbert also worked at the Academy of American Poets setting up its free workshops called "The Writers's Community" and its library.
Her chapbooks include To Keep at Bay the Hounds (Nebraska Poets' Association), The Earth Above (Catamount Press), and Greatest Hits (Pudding House Press). Her book of poems, That Other Brightness, is published by Black Star Press. Other books are forthcoming.
She is a recipient of numerous awards that include, among others, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, a 2010 Alabama State Council on the Arts Individual Artist Fellowship in Literature for Poetry, a 2008 Van Fleet Award for service in the Peace Corps in Korea, a 2006 Alumni Achievement Award from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, a Title III Faculty Development Grant, a Second Place Hackney Award, and 2014 and 1992 First Place Sakura Festival Haiku Contest Awards. Gilbert is the 2001 Alabama Poet of the Year. She also took First Place in the one and only Alabama State Poetry Society’s Poetry Slam in 1998. Her poems have appeared in many publications including The Women's Review of Books, Claiming the Spirit Within, I Hear My Sisters Saying, Alabama Women Speak, Beloit Poetry Journal, The North American Review, Prairie Schooner, Southern Poetry Review, and MSS. A number of her haikus have been selected for Split This Rock's favorite "Postcards to the President" and have been posted on their blog.
Gilbert served as a Peace Corps Volunteer from 1971-73 in the Republic of South Korea, and she has been a judge, among others, for the Peace Corps Poetry Contests and for Alabama State Council on the Arts grants.
Besides being a poet, Gilbert is also a noted photographer, having won a number of local, national and international awards including a Special Merit Award--Kodak International Newspaper Snapshot Award for 1986 and "The Best Nebraska Entrant" in the Seventh Annual Cornhusker International Exhibition of Photography. She has won five Best Pictures of the Year Awards from the Huntsville Photographic Society and is ranked as one of its Master Photographers.
Currently, Gilbert is Professor Emerita of English at Alabama A & M University, and was its long time Director of its Program in Creative Writing and its reading series. At Alabama A & M University, Gilbert also established an annual literary reading that raised over $10,000 for the Food Bank of North Alabama and gave a platform to many local writers and artists both on and off campus. She is also a past President of the Huntsville, Alabama, Photographic Society and is a past President of the Huntsville branch of The National League of American Pen Women. She is a past Members Assembly Secretary to the Arts Council of Huntsville, Alabama. In 2017, Gilbert was a finalist for the Virginia Hammill Simms Award for volunteer support for the arts in Huntsville and was a candidate for Alabama Poet Laureate. She is also a past Editor with Georgette Perry of ASPS Muse Messenger. Contact: email@example.com.