Ellery Akers graduate from Radcliffe College in 1967, where she was an editor of The Advocate and wrote for The Crimson. "I made lifelong friends at Radcliffe," she said in an interview.
But Akers said she did not become interested in writing poetry until she attended San Francisco State University where she received her M.A. in 1974.
"I actually started writing poetry after I taught prose to gifted writing students. There was another woman who was teaching poetry, and I realized I was in the wrong field," she says.
Akers says there are a lot of people who have inspired her, like Theodore Roethke, but she has also been inspired by women.
"I have always been inspired by women, but when I was at Radcliffe there weren't too many women teachers,' she said, adding, "I wonder if that has changed?"
Akers has won several national awards including the John Maisfield and Gordon Barber awards from the Poetry Society of America and an Academy of American Poets Prize.
Akers continues to write. She is currently working on a nature prose book for which she is living outdoors, taking field notes.
"I am working on another book of poems, but it will probably be a while before it comes out," she said.
Akers is also an artist and has been exhibited in various art shows for her pastel paintings and drawings.
"I do a lot of strange birds and things," she said.
In addition to writing and painting, Akers teachers bird watching and has led field trips for the Audubon Society.
Akers will read from her poetry in Boylston Hall's Ticknor Lounge on May 9 at 8 p.m.