Max Garland joined the English Department in 1996. He has taught previously at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the University of Iowa, the Iowa Summer Writing Festival, and as a Poet-in-the-Schools in Kentucky, Iowa, and Wisconsin. Additionally, he has taught many adult and community courses in both poetry and fiction writing. Before reentering the university community he worked at a great many non-academic jobs in his native western Kentucky, including working ten years as a rural mail carrier on the route where he was born, a route formerly run by his grandfather, an experience drawn upon in his first book of poems, The Postal Confessions (University of Massachusetts Press), winner of the 1994 Juniper Prize for Poetry. His second book of poems, Hunger Wide As Heaven, is the winner of the Cleveland State University Poetry Center Open Competition for 2006 and has recently been published.
His other awards and honors include a National Endowment for the Arts Poetry Fellowship, the Tara Award for Short Fiction, a James Michener Fiction Fellowship, a Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing Poetry Fellowship, Two Wisconsin Arts Board Literary Fellowships, a Poetry Fellowship from the Dane County Cultural Affairs Commission, a Bush Artist Fellowship for 1999-2000, and the Arts and Letters Poetry Prize for 2004.
Most recently, Max was named the 2013-2014 Wisconsin poet laureate by the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters. According to the Academy website, he hopes the position will allow him to "reach out to those who may feel alienated from the world of poetry," specifically by "promoting the connection between poetry and place, and urging young, as well as young-at-heart writers, to write of the places they know and explore their relationships with those places in poetry." A list of upcoming reading events can be found here or by clicking the link at the bottom of the page.
Garland's poems, stories and essays have appeared in many journals including Poetry, New England Review, Georgia Review, Ploughshares, Crazy Horse, Chicago Review, Gettysburg Review, Prairie Schooner, Poet and Critic, as well as the anthologies I Know Some Things (Faber and Faber), High Infidelities (Wm. Morrow), The Most Wonderful Books (Milkweed Editions), and Best American Short Stories 1995. In addition to his two books of poems (The Postal Confessions and Hunger Wide As Heaven) a chapbook of poems, Apparition, was published in 1999 by Parallel Press. Poems have also been chosen for inclusion on Poetry Daily, and have recently been featured on Garrison Keillor's A Writer's Almanac on National Public Radio.
His courses here at Eau Claire include Introduction to Creative Writing, Advanced Creative Writing, Creative Writing Workshop-Poetry, Creative Writing Workshop-Fiction, Introduction to College Writing, Introduction to Literature, and introductory courses in both poetry and the short story. He also teaches upper level and graduate courses in Modern and Contemporary Poetry.