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Home > Author > Andrena Zawinski
Andrena Zawinski

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  Andrena Zawinski

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Andrena Zawinski is a poet who lives and teaches in Oakland, CA. She is also Features Editor at

Background Information

Andrena Zawinski was born in Pittsburgh, PA  and raised in the working-poor communities skirting Pittsburgh. She is a second-generation Eastern European daughter and granddaughter of steel mill workers and coal miners.

As a single parent, and after earning degrees in education and language communications from the University of Pittsburgh, she established a career in public education while spending every free moment developing herself as a poet.

Zawinski has a long history as a feminist and activist who has organized in the women against violence against women movement, as well as co-founding a feminist bookstore collective and managing a cultural feminist restaurant and bar showcase for women's talent. She has worked at everything from making fish lures to being a contract publicist.

Since she has made her home in the San Francisco Bay Area, she has co-organized a Poets for Peace reading series that featured prominent Bay Area poets and resulted in the chapbook, Against Certainty, from Chapiteau Press. She founded a Women's Poetry Salon--a social group that  currently meets every six weeks for a potluck of food and poetry.

Her poetry has been described as "strongly imagistic and tightly rhythmical" (Len Roberts), her poems as those that "seethe with savvy and are packed with a bristling ironic intellegence" (Lynn Emanuel), and as a poet who "gets beneath the skin of wherever she's at, wherever she's been, whereever she might be going" (Jim Daniels).



Zawinski is an alumna of the University of Pittsburgh where she also taught English
Composition and worked as a Teacher-Consultant
for the Writing Project there. There she co-edited an anthology of poetry, Writing on the Desk, by teachers who write. She was also a Poet-in-Person for the International Poetry Forum as well as with the PA Arts Council.

Additional Information

Her works appear widely online and in print. Traveling in Reflected Light, her full collection, was released by Pig Iron Press as a Kenneth Patchen competition winner; her Greatest Hits chapbook is from Pudding House; her forthcoming collection is Taking the Road Where it Leads from Poets Corner Press. Zawinski also dabbles in photography and has many photos published in literary journals, some award winning.

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