Mary-Alice Daniel

Poet, Creative Nonfiction Writer

Author's Bio

Mary-Alice Daniel was born near the Niger/Nigeria border and raised in England and Tennessee. Her writing has appeared in the American Poetry Review, the Iowa Review, Prairie Schooner, New England Review, the Yale ReviewCallaloo, and the Best New Poets anthology. 

Mass for Shut-Ins, her first book of poetry, won the 2022 Yale Younger Poets Prize and was released in March 2023. Selecting this collection, judge Rae Armantrout called it “Flowers of Evil for the 21st century.” 

This past November, Ecco/Harper Collins published Daniel’s first book of prose, A Coastline Is an Immeasurable Thing, a migrant memoir chosen as People’s Book of the Week and one of Kirkus Review’s Best Nonfiction Books of 2022. 

A Cave Canem Fellow, she holds an MFA from the University of Michigan and a PhD from the University of Southern California. She is presently working on her third and fourth books as a postdoctoral research fellow at Brown University. 

She is obviously a Scorpio.
Find her on Twitter @MaryAlicePoetry and Instagram @drmaryalicedaniel

Literary agent: 
Jin Auh, the Wylie Agency

Publications & Prizes

Creative Nonfiction

A Coastline Is An Immeasurable Thing: A Memoir Across Three Continents (Harper Collins, 2022)


Mass for Shut-Ins, Yale Series of Younger Poets Volume #117 (Yale University Press, 2023)
Prizes won: 

Yale Series of Younger Poets Prize (2022) 
Brunel University International African Poetry Prize Shortlist (2016, 2019) 
Indiana Review Poetry Prize, Finalist (2019) 
Boston Review “Discovery” Poetry Contest, Semi-finalist (2017) 
Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry, Nimrod International Journal (2015)

Personal Favorites

Favorite authors: 
W.S. Merwin, Chinua Achebe, Charles Wright, Edith Sitwell, Claudia Rankine, Nazim Hikmet, George Orwell, Lucie Brock-Broido, Iris Chang, Jan T. Gross, Alice Notley, Safiya Sinclair, Richard Siken, Maggie Nelson, Naomi Shihab Nye, Czesław Miłosz, Yehuda Amichai, Ken Saro-Wiwa, Walt Whitman, Douglas Kearney, Italo Calvino, Gertrude Stein, Dana Levin, Marianne Moore
What I'm reading now: 
A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin. And, always, Sum by David Eagleman

More Information

Gives readings: 
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Born in: 
Raised in: 
United Kingdom
Please note: All information in the Directory is provided by the listed writers or their representatives.
Last update: Apr 06, 2023