March 22, 2007 -- Colorado Christian University Professor of English Dr. Elaine Woodruff presented a paper this February at New York's prestigious Columbia University. Woodruff's presentation entitled "Keeping a Place for Poetry: A Flight from Obsolescence" was part of the 2007 International Symposium on New Directions in the Humanities. The conference was sponsored by Columbia's Center for Comparative Literature and Society.
This year's conference was themed around the timely question "Is there a crisis in the Humanities?" and explored ways in which the discipline might find its place amidst changing times. Woodruff's paper highlighted the increasing trend in the publishing industry toward dismissing poetry in favor of more lucrative fiction and nonfiction projects. Consequently, future generations of students may not have poetry models to follow from earlier centuries and also the present era.
A talented poet and writer, Woodruff has published numerous individual poems, articles, reviews, and a book of her poetry entitled "Before the Burning" (Edwin Mellen Press, 1994). In 2004, she presented a paper on short fiction at the University of Salamanca in Spain. In 2005, she presented on Nobel Prize-winning poet Wislawa Szymborkska at Cambridge University in England. And last summer she participated alongside poets from around the world in a creative writing program at the University of Oxford.
Dr. Woodruff earned a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, Texas. She graduated from the University of Alaska-Fairbanks with a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, and earned her doctorate in English from the University of Denver. Woodruff joined the faculty at CCU's School of Humanities and Sciences
in 1993, where she currently teaches literature and creative writing.
A member of the Academy of American Poets, International Society of Poets (ISP), International Women's Writing Guild, and the National Women's Hall of Fame, Dr. Woodruff was nominated in 1996 as ISP Poet of the Year. She was a semifinalist in 1997, and was also elected that year to the International Poetry Hall of Fame. In 1998, she participated in a women's studies delegation to South Africa. The group visited Johannesburg, Pretoria, and Cape Town--respectively, home to the nation's legislative, executive, and judicial branches. While there, they dialogued with fellow scholars on topics that included among other matters the reconciliatory effort in post-apartheid South Africa.
Dr. Woodruff lives in Golden, Colorado, with her husband, Thomas. They have two grown sons.