Kaveh Akbar

Kaveh Akbar was born in Tehran. He holds an MFA from Butler University and a PhD in creative writing from Florida State University.

Akbar is the author of Pilgrim Bell (Graywolf Press, 2021); Calling a Wolf a Wolf (Alice James Books, 2017); and the chapbook Portrait of the Alcoholic (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2017). He is the editor of The Penguin Book of Spiritual Verse: 100 Poets on the Divine (Penguin Books Limited, 2022). With Paige Lewis, Akbar coedited the anthology Another Last Call: Poems on Alcoholism & Addiction (Sarabande Books, 2023). In 2024, he published his first novel, Martyr! (Knopf). 

Akbar is the recipient of the Lucille Medwick Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, a Pushcart Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation.

Akbar is the founder of the poetry interview website Divedapper. He has taught at Purdue University and in the low-residency MFA programs at Randolph College in Lynchburg, Virginia, and Warren Wilson College. He currently teaches at the University of Iowa, where he is an associate professor and serves as the director of the undergraduate English and creative writing major. He is also the poetry editor for The Nation. In 2018, Akbar served as a Guest Editor of Poem-a-Day.