MacArthur Fellows Program

Thylias Moss

Poet and Writer | Class of 1996

Poet and Writer
Ann Arbor, Michigan
42 at time of award
Area of Focus
Published July 1, 1996

About Thylias' Work

Thylias Moss is a poet and a prose writer, who conjures an evocative sense of place and community in her work, articulating the subtle rhythms of daily life and moments of heightened reality.

Moss’s poetry combines the African-American concept of “witnessing” with a variety of Western poetic traditions.  Her books of poetry include, Hosiery Seams on a Bowlegged Woman (1983), Pyramid of Bone (1989), At Redbones (1990), Rainbow Remnants in Rock Bottom Ghetto Sky (1991), and Small Congregations: New and Selected Poems (1993).  She is the author of two children’s books, I Want to Be (1993) and The Bread House (1996); as well as a book of stories entitled Somewhere Else Right Now (1996), and a memoir, Tales of a Sky Blue Dress (1998).  Her book-length narrative in verse, Slave Moth, was published in 2004.&


Moss is an associate professor of English at the University of Michigan, where she has taught since 1993.  She was an instructor of English (1984-92) at Phillips Andover Academy, and also served as a visiting professor (1991) at the University of New Hampshire and as the Fannie Hurst Poet (1992) at Brandeis University.

Moss received an A.B. (1981) from Oberlin College and an M.A. (1983) from the University of New Hampshire.

Last updated January 1, 2005

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