Bio & Contact

Lia Purpura

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Lia Purpura’s new collection of poems, It Shouldn’t Have Been Beautiful (Penguin/Viking) will be published in October 2015. She is the author of three previous collections of poems (King Baby, Stone Sky LiftingThe Brighter the Veil); three collections of essays (Rough Likeness, On Looking, Increase), and one collection of translations (Poems of Grzegorz Musial: Berliner Tagebuch and Taste of Ash).

A Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award (for On Looking), she has also been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, an NEA Fellowship, a Fulbright Foundation Fellowship (Translation, Warsaw, Poland), three Pushcart Prizes, a grant from the Maryland State Arts Council, and multiple residencies and fellowships at the MacDowell Colony.

Purpura’s poems and essays appear in: Agni Magazine, Ecotone, Field, The Georgia Review, Orion, The New Republic, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Parnassus: Poetry in Review, Ploughshares, The Southern Review and many other magazines and anthologies, including Best American Essays 2011 and The Pushcart Anthology.

Lia Purpura is Writer in Residence at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, in Baltimore, MD and teaches at the Rainier Writing Workshop  in Tacoma, WA. Recently, she has served as Bedell Visiting Writer at the University of Iowa’s MFA Program in Nonfiction, Coal Royalty Visiting Professor at the University of Alabama’s MFA Program, Visiting Writer at the Warren and Patricia Benson Forum on Creativity at Eastman Conservatory, in Rochester, NY, and has taught at the MFA programs at Columbia University, Bennington, and at the Breadloaf Writers’ Conference, and the Chautauqua Writers’ Conference.  She lives in Baltimore, MD with her husband, conductor Jed Gaylin, and their son.