Benjamin Aleshire


Brooklyn, NY
New York US

Author's Bio

BENJAMIN ALESHIRE is a writer and artist currently based in Brooklyn, NY. His writing has appeared in The Times of London, El Mundo, Boston Review, Iowa Review, Adroit, London Magazine—and on television in China, Spain, and the U.S. For many years he made his living as a poet for hire, writing poems for strangers on a manual typewriter, and touring internationally. An excerpt of his novel-in-progress, POET FOR HIRE is published in Lit Hub, and he won a James Merrill Fellowship to attend the Vermont Studio Center in 2020. Ben serves as a contributing editor for Green Mountains Review.

As a poet-for-hire, Ben's clients have included Tracy K. Smith, Bernie Sanders, Sir Tom Stoppard, Jimmy Page, Princeton University, Shakespeare & Co in Paris, The Bellagio Las Vegas, House of Yes in NYC, the Troubadour in London,. 

Ben also founded a small publishing cooperative called Honeybee Press, which uses letterpress printing, hand papermaking, and traditional bookbinding. His broadsides and books are archived in the Special Collections of Yale University, the University of Vermont, and St. Lawrence University. 

Ben attended the Breadloaf Writers Conference as a waiter-scholar, and in 2016 and 2019 he was a finalist for the Iowa Review Award in Poetry. His work as a poet and musician has been featured in El Mundo, (Spain,) NEON Magazin (Germany), The Havana Times (Cuba), La Repubblica (Italy), NPR Boston, SPIN, USA Today. The Times of London broke with 233 years of their editorial history by inviting Aleshire to contribute a poem as a lead article, in conjunction with a feature article on his work during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Ongoing projects include a full length manuscript of poems, FAKE NOOSE (a finalist for the 2020 Alice James Award and the 2021 Kathryn Morton Prize from Sarabande) and a novel-in-progress, POET FOR HIRE, for which he's currently seeking representation.

Publications & Prizes

So Little Time (Green Writers Press, 2014)
Atlanta Review
Barrow Street
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Crab Orchard Review
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Literary Hub
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Seven Days
Prizes won: 

James Merrill Fellowship from Vermont Studio Center (2020), Goldwater Fellowship from New York University's Creative Writing Program ('20-'22), Emerging Artist Residency from A Studio In The Woods (2020, Tulane University), full scholarship to The Frost Place (2020), Words & Music Festival Prize, selected by Nathaniel Rich (2019), Waiter-Scholarship to Bread Loaf Writers' Conference (2016), Chighizola Poetry Award from the University of New Orleans (2015), Young Artist Series at St. Lawrence University (2013), Vermont Arts Council Creation Grant (2011), Winner, Nor'Easter Playwright Competition (2009).

Personal Favorites

Favorite authors: 
Maurice Ruffin, Joanna Walsh, Sally Rooney, Laura van den Berg, Ben Lerner, Ottessa Moshfegh, Bryan Washington, sam sax, Danez Smith, Franny Choi, Major Jackson, Robert McKay, Gennarose Nethercott, Alexander Chee, Rebecca Solnit, Roxanne Gay, Solmaz Sharif, Ilya Kaminski, Olivia Laing, Lauren Elkin. Bolaño.

More Information

Gives readings: 
Travels for readings: 
Identifies as: 
Prefers to work with: 
Fluent in: 
English, Spanish
Born in: 
Rutland, VT
Raised in: 
Burlington, VT
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Last update: Jul 25, 2022