Victoria Redel was born in New York, New York, on April 9, 1959, a first-generation American of Belgian, Egyptian, Polish, Romanian, and Russian descent. Redel grew up in Scarsdale, New York, and later attended Dartmouth College, where she graduated with a degree in visual arts in 1980. She also studied for an MFA in poetry at Columbia University.
Redel is the author of three poetry collections: Woman Without Umbrella (Four Way Books, 2012); Swoon (University of Chicago Press, 2003); and Already the World (Kent State University Press, 1995). She is also the author of four books of fiction, including the award-winning novel Loverboy (Graywolf Press, 2001), which was adapted into a feature film in 2005.
In her review of Woman Without Umbrella, Carolyn Forché writes,
Woman Without Umbrella braves the perilous world of the present in allegorical lyrics of unexpected love, wild survival, diasporic estrangement. These are poems of gratitude for the still quickening of mature eros, the still “bright absolute” of desire. Redel’s luminous “postcards to the future” render our predicament radically legible, to be survived with whatever courage we can summon. Delight with her in a city of miraculous luck.
Before she returned to New York City to pursue her MFA at Columbia, Redel worked as an addiction counselor in hospitals in Greenfield and Concord, Massachusetts. She has taught writing at Columbia University, Davidson College, The New School, and Vermont College, and has received fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. She is currently a faculty member in Sarah Lawrence College’s writing program and lives in New York City.