Maurya Simon

Department of Creative Writing University of California, Riverside
Riverside, CA 92521-0318

Author's Bio

Maurya Simon taught creative writing at the University of California, Riverside for twenty-six years, and she currently serves as a Professor of the Graduate Division and a Professor Emerita at UC Riverside. She is the author of ten volumes of poetry, including the forthcoming The Wilderness, New & Selected Poems (Red Hen Press, 2018). Additional books include: Speaking in Tongues, a nominee for the 1990 Pulitzer Prize, Ghost Orchid, which was nominated in 2004 for a National Book Award in Poetry, Cartographies, (Red Hen Press, 2008), a recent letterpress book, Questions My Daughters Asked Me, Answers I Never Gave Them (Blackbird Press, 2014), and a novel in verse entitled The Raindrop’s Gospel: The Trials of St. Jerome & St. Paula (Elixir Press, 2010). Simon has been the recipient of a Poetry Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as a University Award from the Academy of American Poets, the Celia B. Wagner and Lucille Medwick Memorial Awards from the Poetry Society of America, and a 1991 Fulbright/Indo-American Fellowship, which allowed her a six month-long writing sojourn in Bangalore, South India. She has held fellowships and residencies at the MacDowell Colony in New Hampshire, the Djerassi Resident Artists Program in Santa Cruz, the Baltic Centre for Writers & Translators in Visby, Sweden, at Hawthornden Castle in Edinburgh, Scotland, and twice at the American Academy in Rome. In addition, she served as a U.C. faculty lecturer at Lund University in southern Sweden.

Publications and Prizes

A Brief History of Punctuation
(Sutton Hoo Press, 2002)
, Cartographies
(Red Hen Press, 2008)
, Days of Awe
(Copper Canyon Press, 1989)
, Ghost Orchid
(Red Hen Press, 2004)
, Speaking in Tongues
(Gibbs Smith, 1990)
, The Enchanted Room
(Copper Canyon Press, 1986)
, The Golden Labyrinth
(University of Missouri Press, 1995)
, The Raindrop's Gospel: The Trials of St. Jerome & St. Paula
(Elixir Press, 2015)
, The Wilderness: New & Selected Poems
(Red Hen Press, 2018)
, Weavers
(Blackbird Press, 2005)
32 Poems, Agni, Colorado Review, Crab Orchard Review, Georgia Review, Gettysburg Review, Hotel Amerika, Hudson Review, Image, Ironwood, Journal, Kansas Quarterly, Kayak, Kenyon Review, Kestrel, L.A. Times Book Review, Literary Review, Lyric, Michigan Quarterly Review, Mid-American Review, Mississippi Review, Missouri Review, The Montserrat Review, National Poetry Review, New England Review, On The Bus, Orion, Pacific Review, Passages North, Ploughshares, Poetry, Poetry East, Poetry Flash, Poetry International, Poetry Ireland Review, Poetry Northwest, Prairie Schooner, Quarterly West, Rattle, Reaper, Roanoke Review, Runes: A Review of Poetry, Salmagundi, Seattle Review, Seneca Review, Shenandoah, Solo, Southern Review, Spoon River Poetry Review, New Yorker, TriQuarterly, Verse, Verse Daily, Women's Review of Books, Yankee Magazine
Prizes Won: 
Simon’s poems have appeared in over 250 literary magazines, including: The New Yorker, Poetry, TriQuarterly, The Southern Review, The Kenyon Review, The Georgia Review, The Gettysburg Review, Grand Street, Agni, Ploughshares, Shenandoah, The Los Angeles Times Book Review, The New England Review, and in more than forty-five poetry anthologies. In addition, Simon’s poetry has been translated into French, Rumanian, Bengali, Swedish, Spanish, and Farsi. An opera entitled “Tamar,” based on Simon’s eponymous verse libretto, premiered at the University of Rhode Island in March of 2007 and was attended by 500 people. Additional awards that Simon has received include: the Grand Prize ($500) for a poem selected by William Matthews in the SCCA International Poetry Competition (1997), a University Award from the Academy of American Poets (1983), and the Elixir Poetry Prize ($2000) in 2009.

Personal Favorites

What I'm Reading Now: 
Sestets and Littlefoot by Charles Wright
A Wild Surmise by Eloise Klein Healy
Where I Live by Maxine Kumin
Secure the Shadow by Claudia Emerson
The Apple Trees at Olema by Robert Haas

More Information

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Born in: 
New York
Raised in: 
Hermosa Beach, CA
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Last updated: Nov 18, 2016