Dr. Diana G. Woodcock

Associate Professor, English


+974 4402 0612
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Creative Writing, Environmental Literature, and Composition


  • Ph.D., Creative Writing, Lancaster University
  • MFA, Creative Writing, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • BS, Psychology, Virginia Commonwealth University 


Diana Woodcock teaches English courses as part of the Liberal Arts & Sciences program at VCUarts Qatar. She is the author of four full-length poetry collections: Facing Aridity (published in 2021 as a 2020 Prism Prize for Climate Literature finalist, Homebound Publications/Wayfarer Books), Tread Softly, Under the Spell of a Persian Nightingale, and Swaying on the Elephant’s Shoulders (winner of the 2011 Vernice Quebodeaux International Women’s Poetry Prize). Her seventh chapbook is Near the Arctic Circle (Tiger’s Eye Press).

Forthcoming in 2023 is Holy Sparks (a 2020 Paraclete Press Poetry Award finalist). Recipient of the 2007 Creekwalker Poetry Prize and a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee, she has had poems published in Best New Poets 2008, Women’s Review of Books, Nimrod, Crab Orchard Review, Southern Humanities Review, Spiritus, Comstock Review, and elsewhere.

Her grand prize-winning poem, “Music as Scripture,” was performed onstage in Lincoln Park, San Francisco by Natica Angilly's Poetic Dance Theater Company at Artists Embassy International’s 21st Dancing Poetry Festival. In 2010, her poetry was exhibited with Li Chevalier’s paintings at the Today Art Museum in Beijing, China.

In 2009, the title poem in her first chapbook, Travels of a Gwai Lo, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She has received artist residency fellowships from Centrum, Hawthornden Castle (Scotland), Tyrone Guthrie Centre (Ireland), MICA/Rochefort-en-Terre, Vermont Studio Center, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Voices of the Wilderness (Alaska), The Arctic Circle Art and Science Expedition to the High Arctic, Outer Cape Artist-in-Residence Consortium, Norton Island (Eastern Frontier Foundation), the Everglades National Park and Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

She has been awarded eight VCUarts Qatar Faculty Research Grants and five Faculty Development Grants to do research and to present papers or conduct workshops at conferences in Africa, Greece, Russia, Switzerland, Turkey, Canada, and the U.S. She holds a PhD in Creative Writing from Lancaster University, where her research was an inquiry into the role of poetry in the search for an environmental ethic.

For nearly eight years, she worked in Tibet, Macau, and on the Thai-Cambodian border. Since 2004, she has been teaching creative writing, environmental literature and composition at VCUarts Qatar.

Research Interests

  • Two Ecosystems in Crisis: The Arabian Peninsula and the Everglades
  • The Role of Poetry in the Search for an Environmental Ethic
  • How Environmental Rights and Human Rights Converge
  • Women Past and Present Tapping into the Power of Poetry


  • Holy Sparks (full-length poetry collection), Paraclete Press (under contract), 2023
  • Facing Aridity (full-length poetry collection), Wayfarer Books/Homebound Publications, 2021
  • Tread Softly (full-length poetry collection), FutureCycle Press, 2018
  • Near the Arctic Circle (chapbook), Tiger’s Eye Press (Infinities series), 2018
  • Beggar in the Everglades (chapbook), Finishing Line Press, 2016
  • Under the Spell of a Persian Nightingale (full-length poetry collection), Word Poetry/WordTech Communications, 2015
  • Desert Ecology: Lessons and Visions (chapbook), Finishing Line Press, 2014
  • Tamed by the Desert (chapbook), Finishing Line Press, 2013
  • Swaying on the Elephant’s Shoulders (full-length poetry collection), Little Red Tree Publishing, 2011
  • In the Shade of the Sidra Tree (chapbook), Finishing Line Press, 2010
  • Mandala (chapbook), Foothills Publishing, 2009
  • Travels of a Gwai Lo (chapbook), Toadlily Press, 2009


Faculty Research Awards
VCUarts, Humanities and Social Sciences Fund Award (ONE VCU Research Initiative), 2022
Presidential Research Quest Fund Award, Virginia Commonwealth University, 2013
Distinguished Achievements in Research Award, VCUarts Qatar, 2011