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Paisley Rekdal
Distinguished Professor
Department of English
Expertise: Poetry, Mapping Literary Utah

Paisley Rekdal is the author of a book of essays, The Night My Mother Met Bruce Lee; the hybrid photo-text memoir Intimate; and six books of poetry: A Crash of Rhinos; Six Girls Without Pants; The Invention of the Kaleidoscope; Animal Eye, a finalist for the 2013 Kingsley Tufts Prize and winner of the UNT Rilke Prize; Imaginary Vessels, finalist for the 2018 Kingsley Tufts Prize, and Nightingale, which won the 2020 Washington State Book Award for Poetry. Her newest works of nonfiction are a book-length essay, The Broken Country: On Trauma, a Crime, and the Continuing Legacy of Vietnam and Appropriate: A Provocation. She guest-edited Best American Poetry 2020. Two new books are forthcoming: a hybrid book-length poem titled West: A Translation (Copper Canyon Press, 2023) and Real Toads, Imaginary Gardens: How to Read and Teach a Poem (W.W. Norton, 2024).

Her work has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Amy Lowell Poetry Traveling Fellowship, a Fulbright Fellowship, a Civitella Ranieri Residency, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, Pushcart Prizes (2009, 2013), Narrative's Poetry Prize, the AWP Creative Nonfiction Prize, and various state arts council awards. Her poems and essays have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, American Poetry Review, The Kenyon Review, Poetry, The New Republic, Tin House, the Best American Poetry series (2012, 2013, 2017, 2018, 2019), and on National Public Radio, among others.

She is a Distinguished Professor at the University of Utah, where she is the creator and editor of West: A Translation as well as the community projects Mapping Literary Utah, a web archive of Utah writers, and Mapping Salt Lake City, a community-written web atlas that maps the various communities and neighborhoods of the city through critical and creative literature, interactive maps, and multimedia projects.

In May 2017, Rekdal was named Utah's Poet Laureate, and in 2019, she received an Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellowship.