Carmen Giménez Smith was born on February 20, 1971, in New York City. She received a BA from San Jose State University and an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.
She is the author of numerous poetry collections, including Be Recorder (Graywolf Press, 2019), which was a finalist for the 2019 National Book Award in Poetry, the PEN Open Book Award, the Audre Lorde Award for Lesbian Poetry, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize; and Goodbye, Flicker (University of Massachusetts Press, 2012), winner of the Juniper Prize for Poetry. Her memoir, Bring Down the Little Birds (University of Arizona, 2010) was a finalist for the American Book Award.
Of her poems, poet Dana Levin says, “It’s as if Giménez Smith threw a stone called ‘girl’ into the pond of psyche—a psyche both personal and collective—and these are the ripples.”
Giménez Smith was named one of Poetry Society of America’s New American Poets in 2009. She received a Howard Foundation grant for creative nonfiction in 2011 and was a 2019 Guggenheim fellow. She was the guest editor for Poem-a-Day in December 2018, an has served as the publisher of Noemi Press since 2002. In 2020, she received the Academy of American Poets Fellowship, which recognizes distinguished poetic achievement.
A Professor of English at Virginia Tech and Bennington College, she lives in Blacksburg, Virginia.