Dawn Lundy Martin earned a B.A. from the University of Connecticut, an M.A. in creative writing from San Francisco State University, and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Martin's first full-length collection, A Gathering of Matter / A Matter of Gathering (University of Georgia Press, 2007), was selected by Carl Phillips for the 2007 Cave Canem Poetry Prize. Her second collection, Discipline, won the 2009 Nightboat Books Poetry Prize, chosen by Fanny Howe (Nightboat Books, 2011). She is also the author of two chapbooks, The Undress (Belladonna Books, 2006) and The Morning Hour (Poetry Society of America, 2003), which was selected by C. D. Wright for the Poetry Society of America's National Chapbook Fellowship.
In 2004, she co-edited, alongside Vivien Labaton, The Fire This Time: Young Activists and the New Feminism (Anchor Books, 2004), a collection of essays on modern theories of activism in America. She also wrote the Afterword, titled "What, Then, is Freedom," to Harriet Ann Jacobs' 19th century slave narrative, Incidents of a Slave Girl (Signet Classics, 2010).
Martin is co-founder of the Third Wave Foundation in New York, a national grant making organization led by young women and transgender youth, which focuses on social justice activism. She is also a member of the Black Took Collective, a group of experimental black poets embracing critical theory about gender, race, and sexuality.
She has been the recipient of two poetry grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and was awarded the 2008 Academy of American Arts and Sciences May Sarton Prize for Poetry.
She has taught at Montclair State University, The New School, and the Institute for Writing and Thinking at Bard College. She is currently an assistant professor in the Writing Program at the University of Pittsburgh.