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Creative Writing, Environmental Literature, and Composition
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.
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