Kim Addonizio

1954 –

Kim Addonizio was born in Washington, D.C., on July 31, 1954. She received her BA and MA from San Francisco State University.

Addonizio’s numerous books of poetry are Exit Opera (W. W. Norton, 2024); Now We’re Getting Somewhere (W. W. Norton, 2021); Lucifer at the Starlite (W. W. Norton, 2009); What Is This Thing Called Love: Poems (W. W. Norton, 2004); Tell Me (BOA Editions, 2000), which was a finalist for the National Book Award; Jimmy & Rita (BOA Editions, 1997); The Philosopher’s Club (BOA Editions, 1994); and Three West Coast Women, with Laurie Duesing and Dorianne Laux (Five Fingers Press, 1987).

Addonizio is also the author of the memoir-in-essays Bukowski in a Sundress: Confessions from a Writing Life (Penguin, 2016); a story collection, Palace of Illusions (Counterpoint/Soft Skull Press, 2014); and two novels: My Dreams Out in the Street (Simon & Schuster, 2010) and Little Beauties (Simon & Schuster, 2006). Her other prose works are Ordinary Genius: A Guide for the Poet Within (W. W. Norton, 2009); The Poet’s Companion: A Guide to the Pleasures of Writing Poetry (W. W. Norton, 1997), which she coauthored with Laux; and Dorothy Parker’s Elbow: Tattoos on Writers, Writers on Tattoos (Grand Central Publishing, 2002), which she coedited with Cheryl Dumesnil.  

Among Addonizio’s awards and honors are fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation, a Pushcart Prize, and a Commonwealth Club Poetry Medal.

Addonizio was a founding editor of the journal Five Fingers Review. She teaches Zoom poetry workshops and performs her work widely, sometimes accompanied by guitarist Danny Caron. She lives in Oakland, California.