Lia Purpura is the Writer in Residence at UMBC, where she teaches poetry and nonfiction workshops, as well as other classes in the English Department. She received her B.A. degree from Oberlin College and her MFA from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she was a Teaching/Writing Fellow in poetry. She is the author of three collections of essays (Rough Likeness, Sarabande Books, 2012; On Looking, Sarabande Books, 2006; Increase, University of Georgia Press, 2006), three collections of poems (King Baby, Alice James Books, 2008; Stone Sky Lifting, Ohio State University Press, 2000; The Brighter the Veil, Orchises Press, 1996) and a collection of translations (Poems of Grzegorz Musial: Berliner Tagebuch & Taste of Ash, Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1998).
On Looking was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her honors include a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, National Endowment for the Arts and Fulbright Fellowships, three Pushcart prizes, the Associated Writing Programs Award in Nonfiction, the Beatrice Hawley, and Ohio State University Press awards in poetry, and the Towson University Prize in Literature. She has received residency fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, The Millay Colony, Blue Mountain Center, and The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.
Recent poems and essays appear in Agni, Field, The Georgia Review, Orion, The New Republic, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Best American Essays, and elsewhere. Lia Purpura is a member of the core faculty at the Rainier Writing Workshop, in Tacoma WA, and teaches at writing programs, conferences, and festivals across the country, including most recently, the Breadloaf Writers’ Conference, at Middlebury College, and The Bennington Writing Seminars. She lives in Baltimore, MD, with her husband, conductor Jed Gaylin, and their son Joseph.