Lynne Thompson is the daughter of Caribbean immigrants. She is the author of Fretwork (Marsh Hawk Press, 2019), winner of the Marsh Hawk Press Poetry Prize; Start With A Small Guitar (What Books Press, 2013); and Beg No Pardon (Perugia Press, 2007), winner of the Perugia Press Prize and the Great Lakes Colleges Association’s New Writers Award.
Thompson’s honors include the Tucson Festival of Books Literary Award, the Stephen Dunn Prize for Poetry, as well as fellowships from the City of Los Angeles, Vermont Studio Center, and the Summer Literary Series in Kenya.
A lawyer by training, Thompson sits on the boards of the Los Angeles Review of Books and Cave Canem, and is the chair of the Board of Trustees at Scripps College, her alma mater. She facilitates private workshops, most recently for Beyond Baroque, Poetry By the Sea Conference, Moorpark College Writers Festival, and Central Coast Writers’ Conference.
A recipient of an Individual Artist Award from the City of Los Angeles where she lives, Thompson was appointed the city’s poet laureate in 2021. In 2022, Thompson received an Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellowship.
In 2022, Lynne Thompson was named an Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellow. Thompson will conduct workshops at the Los Angeles Public Library branches and at literary venues across the city that focus on story-telling through poems as a way of codifying Los Angeles’s recent history and its diverse population. Participants of all ages will be encouraged to attend. Thompson will solicit and compile the poems of the city’s middle and high school students for an anthology. In addition, a select group of poets will be identified to work with a videographer on reciting their pieces for public distribution. She will partner with the Los Angeles Review of Books on panels that promote and connect the small press publishers working in the greater Los Angeles region.