Alexis Lathem is an environmental journalist and writing instructor, and is the author of one full length poetry collection, Alphabet of Bones, and two poetry chapbooks, One Thousand Pieces (Finishing Line 2009), and Crossing Labrador (Pudding House 2008). Recipient of the Chelsea Award for Poetry, a Vermont Arts Council grant, a Bread Loaf scholarship, and a Black Earth Institute Fellowship (2018-2022), her poems and essays have appeared in AWP Chronicle, Beloit Poetry Journal, Chelsea Review, Gettysburg Review, Hunger Mountain, Saranac Review, Spoon River Review, Solstice, Stonecoast Review, West Branch, and other journals. In previous lives she has worked as a copy editor for New York publishing houses, a legal proofreader, and as a newsletter and freelance book editor. She has worked on organic farms in France, England, and Vermont, apprenticed in the arts of classical jewelry making, and sold her jewelry on the streets of Paris as well as through galleries.
She began writing poetry in her late twenties, winning a Bread Loaf scholarship as a mere novice, but it was not until a decade later that she seriously dedicated herself to learning her craft, mentoring with Molly Peacock and then enrolling in the Vermont College MFA in Writing Program. She has written award-winning investigative stories on a range of environmental and agricultural topics; in her reporting on the struggles of Indigenous Peoples to defend their lands from development, she has paddled and trekked through taiga and rainforest. She lives on a small farm in the Winooski River Valley in Vermont, the Abenaki homeland N’dakina, with her musician husband, and teaches at the Community College of Vermont. (She blogs about her farm at ewetopiafarm.wordpress.com.)
Photo credit: Gioia Kuss