Gailmarie Pahmeier was born in 1957. A native of Missouri and raised in St. Louis, she has been a Nevadan since 1984. She earned her undergraduate degree at Southern Illinois University and her MFA at the University of Arkansas.
Pahmeier is the author of Of Bone, Of Ash, Of Ordinary Saints: A Nevada Gospel (WSC Press, 2020), which was nominated for the High Plains Book Award; The Rural Lives of Nice Girls (The Black Rock Press, 2014); The House on Breakaheart Road (University of Nevada Press, 1998); and three chapbooks, one of which, Shake It and It Snows (Autumn House Press, 2010), won the Coal Hill Chapbook Award from Autumn House Press.
Pahmeier is the recipient of three artists’ fellowships from the Nevada Arts Council, including the Major Project Fellowship. She has also been awarded the Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts from the state of Nevada, served the city of Reno as its first poet laureate, and has been inducted into the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame.
Now emerita, Pahmeier taught creative writing and contemporary literature at the University of Nevada, Reno, for thirty-seven years, and was also a faculty mentor in the low-residency MFA Program at Sierra Nevada University. She was a recipient of the University Distinguished Teacher Award and has been recognized by Nevada Humanities as an Outstanding Teacher in the Humanities. In 2021, she was appointed poet laureate of Nevada. Pahmeier lives in Reno. In 2022, Pahmeier received an Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellowship.
In 2022, Gailmarie Pahmeier was named an Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellow. Pahmeier will launch “Nevadan to Nevadan: What I Need to Tell You,” an epistolary poetry project for Nevadans to write letters to other people and places in the state. The project invites participants of all ages, including students in grades K–12, and aims to have both statewide and nationwide reach. Through the project, Pahmeier hopes to encourage Nevadans to speak honestly to one another and to have compassion for Nevada’s many voices and land.