Maggie Nelson was born in 1973 and grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. She received a BA from Wesleyan University in 1994 and a PhD from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York in 2004.
She is the author of the poetry collections Something Bright, Then Holes (Soft Skull Press, 2007), Jane: A Murder (Soft Skull Press, 2005), The Latest Winter (Hanging Loose Press, 2003), and Shiner (Hanging Loose Press, 2001).
Nelson has also published several works of lyrical prose, including The Argonauts (Graywolf Press, 2015), which received the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award in Criticism, and Bluets (Wave Books, 2009). Of Bluets, the poet Rob Schlegel writes, “The result not only defies easy categorization, but also leans toward Walter Benjamin’s famous declaration that all great works of literature either dissolve a genre or invent one.”
Nelson has also received fellowships from the Creative Capital/Andy Warhol Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts, among others. She currently teaches at the California Institute of the Arts. She lives in Los Angeles with her partner, the artist Harry Dodge.