David Bottoms was born in 1949 in Canton, Georgia. His most recent work includes Otherworld, Underworld, Prayer Porch (Copper Canyon Press, 2018) and We Almost Disappear (Copper Canyon Press, 2011). His first collection, Shooting Rats at the Bibb County Dump (1980), was selected by Robert Penn Warren for the 1979 Walt Whitman Award.
Bottoms’s poems have appeared in many magazines, including The Atlantic Monthly, Harper’s, The Kenyon Review, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, and The Southern Review. He also serves as editor for Five Points literary magazine.
About Bottoms’s work, the poet and novelist James Dickey said,
One cannot read him without being nerve-touched by his sardonic yet compassionate countryman’s voice, his hunter’s irony. Bottoms has come into American poetry quickly; his place is already high, and will be higher.
Bottoms’s honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Levinson Prize, an Ingram-Merrill Award, an American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters Award, and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship.
Bottoms served as the ninth poet laureate of Georgia from 2000–2012 and held the Amos Distinguished Chair in English letters at Georgia State University. He died in Atlanta on March 10, 2023.