Emily Skaja

Emily Skaja was born and raised in northern Illinois. She received an MFA in creative writing from Purdue University and a PhD in creative writing and literature from the University of Cincinnati. 
Skaja’s debut poetry collection, Brute, was selected by Joy Harjo as the winner of the 2018 Walt Whitman Award, given by the Academy of American Poets, and was published by Graywolf Press in 2019.
About Brute, Harjo writes:
Brute, though a collection of singular poems, is essentially one long elegiac howl for the end of a relationship. It never lets up—this living—even when the world as we knew it is crushed. So what do we do with the brokenness? We document it, as Emily Skaja has done in Brute. We sing of the brokenness as we emerge from it. We sing the holy objects, the white moths that fly from our mouths, and we stand with the new, wet earth that has been created with our terrible songs.
In 2019, Skaja was awarded a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. She is also the recipient of the Association of Writers & Writing Programs’ Intro Journals Project Award, the Gulf Coast Poetry Prize, the Russell Prize from Two Sylvias Press, and the Thomas H. Scholl and Elizabeth Boyd Thompson Poetry Prize, sponsored by the Academy of American Poets. 
Skaja served as the associate poetry editor of Southern Indiana Review. She is currently an assistant professor in the MFA program at the University of Memphis and the founding editor of the Poetry Prompt Generator, an online resource for poets and educators. She lives in Cincinnati.