Samiya Bashir holds a BA from the University of California, Berkeley, and an MFA from the University of Michigan. She is the author of three poetry collections, most recently Field Theories (Nightboat Books, 2017), winner of the Oregon Book Awards’ 2018 Stafford/Hall Award for Poetry. Its title poem was awarded a Pushcart Prize. She is also the coeditor of Role Call: A Generational Anthology of Social & Political Black Literature & Art (Third World Press, 2002), with Tony Medina and Quraysh Ali Lansana.
Of her poetry, poet Marcella Durand writes, “Samiya Bashir challenges the vocabulary of science, finding inflections and echoes within that vocabulary of the long and brutal history of race and racially based economic exploitation in the U.S.A.”
In 2019, Bashir was awarded the Joseph Brodsky Rome Prize for literature from the American Academy in Rome. She is the recipient of awards and fellowships from the Astraea Foundation, Cave Canem, Community of Writers at Squaw Valley, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National League of American Pen Women, and the Virginia Center for Creative Arts, among others. She is is a founding organizer of Fire & Ink, an advocacy organization and writers festival for LGBT writers of African descent. She has collaborated internationally with artists like sculptor Alison Saar, video artist Roland Dahwen Wu, and dancer Kenyon Gaskin. Bashir was the Poem-a-Day Guest Editor in June 2019, and is an associate professor at Reed College in Portland, Oregon, where she lives.