Diane Mehta was born in Frankfurt, Germany, and grew up in Mumbai and New Jersey. She received a BA from Union College and an MA from Boston University.
Mehta is the author of two books of poetry: Tiny Extravaganzas (Arrowsmith Press, 2023) and Forest with Castanets (Four Way Books, 2019). Her works of prose are Happier Far (University of Georgia Press, 2024), a collection of essays; the novel Leaving Malabar Hill (OR Books, 2024), set in India in 1946; and the poetics and style guide How to Write Poetry (Barnes & Noble Books, 2005). She has published poetry, essays, and criticism for The New Yorker, the New York Times, the Harvard Review, Harvard Divinity Bulletin, Virginia Quarterly Review, the Kenyon Review, American Poetry Review, and A Public Space.
Kevin Prufer says, of Tiny Extravaganzas,
These are lavish, lush poems about the power of art and wrought language. Diane Mehta’s attention to the music that lives in words and the metaphorical possibilities that inhabit images is astonishing […]. I sense in all these poems, constructed in such a variety of forms, an erudite and complex mind that steps always to the side, to observe, to think […].
Mehta is the recipient of the Peter Heinegg Literary Award from Union College, a Kirby Mewshaw Affiliated Fellowship at Civitella Ranieri, and a Yaddo residency.
Mehta was the founding managing editor of A Public Space and was the executive nonfiction editor for Guernica. She also launched and edited Glossolalia, PEN America’s translation magazine, with the aim of publishing writing from traditionally underrepresented languages.
Mehta lives in New York City.