Leah Naomi Green grew up in Greensboro, North Carolina. She received an MFA from the University of California, Irvine.
Her first full-length poetry collection, The More Extravagant Feast (Graywolf Press, 2020) was selected by Li-Young Lee as the winner of the 2019 Walt Whitman Award, given by the Academy of American Poets.
About The More Extravagant Feast, Lee wrote,
“This book keeps faithful company with the world and earns its name. The darkness and suffering of living on earth are assumed in this work, woven throughout the fabric of its lineated perceptions and insights, and yet it is ultimately informed by the deep logic of compassion (is there a deeper human logic?) and enacts the wisdom of desire and fecundity reconciled with knowledge of death and boundedness. These poems remind us that when language is used to mediate between a soul’s inner contents and the outer world’s over-abundance of being and competing meanings, it’s possible to both transcend the nihilism of word games, thereby discovering a more meaningful destiny for language, as well as reveal the body of splendor which is Existence.”
Her chapbook, The Ones We Have, received the 2012 Flying Trout Chapbook prize. In 2021, her poem “Origin Story” was the second-place winner of the Treehouse Climate Action Poem prize. Of her poem, judges Camille T. Dungy and Dr. Katharine K. Wilkinson wrote:
“The second stanza of ‘Origin Story’ won't let us off the hook, reminding readers what is really at stake and what all this means, but at the same time, the poem rests in beauty and wonder and love and hope, teaching us to look, and look again.”
The recipient of the 2021 Lucille Clifton Legacy Award, Green teaches English and Environmental Studies at Washington and Lee University. She lives in the Shenandoah Mountains with her husband and their daughters.