Nathalie Handal was born in Haiti and raised in Latin America, France, and the Arab world. She received an MFA from Bennington College and an MPhil in drama and English from the University of London.
Handal is the author of numerous books of poetry, including Life in a Country Album (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2019); The Republics (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2015), which received a 2016 Arab American Book Award; Poet in Andalucia (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2012); and Love and Strange Horses (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2010), which received a Gold Medal Independent Publisher Book Award.
About Handal’s work, Yusef Komunyakaa writes, “This cosmopolitan voice belongs to the human family, and it luxuriates in crossing necessary borders.”
Handal is the editor of The Poetry of Arab Women (Interlink Books, 2001) and, with Tina Chang, the coeditor of Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia, and Beyond (W. W. Norton, 2008). Also a playwright, she is the author of plays produced at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Westminster Abbey, and elsewhere.
Handal has received the Alejo Zuloaga Order in Literature, a Lannan Foundation Fellowship, and a Centro Andaluz de las Letras Fellowship, among other honors and awards.
Handal lectures internationally and currently teaches at Columbia University and in the low-residency MFA program at Sierra Nevada College. She lives in New York City and Paris, France.