“I’m (like most poets) a poet of obsession. When I can’t quite shake an image from my mind, I know it’s time to sit and write through (or around) it.” —Aimee Nezhukumatathil
“[Nezhukumatathil’s] poetry is fresh and tireless […] each poem focused and bright, each moment acting as if caught within the excited state of a molecule.” —Mid-American Review
“Nezhukumatathil speaks with resonance and fierceness.” —Publishers Weekly
Born in 1974 in Chicago to a Filipina mother and Malayali Indian father, Aimee Nezhukumatathil is known for poems that braid three cultures--Filipino, Indian, and American--and for poetry that is bright, accessible, and filled with lush sensory images. She received her B.A. in English and M.F.A. in poetry and creative nonfiction from Ohio State University in Columbus.
Poet Naomi Shiab Nye writes, “Aimee Nezhukumatathil’s poems are as ripe, funny and fresh as a precious friendship. They’re the fullness of days, deliciously woven of heart and verve, rich with sources and elements—animals, insects, sugar, cardamom, legends, countries, relatives, soaps, fruits—taste and touch. I love the nubby layerings of lines, luscious textures and constructions. Aimee writes with a deep resonance of spirit and sight. She’s scared of nothing. She knows that many worlds may live in one house. Poems like these revive our souls.”
Nezhukumatathil’s newest collection of poems, OCEANIC, is forthcoming with Copper Canyon Press in early 2018. She is also the author of the forthcoming book of illustrated nature essays, World of Wonder. She has written three previous poetry collections: Lucky Fish, winner of the 2011 Eric Hoffer Grand Prize; At the Drive-In Volcano, winner of the Balcones Poetry Prize; and Miracle Fruit, winner of the Global Filipino Award and the Tupelo Press Prize, selected by Gregory Orr. Her most recent chapbook is Lace & Pyrite, a collaboration of nature poems with the poet Ross Gay, released in 2014.
The poetry editor of Orion magazine, Nezhukumatathil’s poems have appeared in the Best American Poetry series, American Poetry Review, New England Review, Poetry, Ploughshares, and Tin House. Honors include a poetry fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Pushcart Prize.
Nezhukumatathil teaches creative writing and environmental literature at State University of New York–Fredonia, where she was named the SUNY–Fredonia William T. Hagan Young Scholar, and is the John and Renée Grisham Writer-in-Residence at the University of Mississippi’s M.F.A. program in creative writing. She lives in New York with her spouse, Dustin Parsons, and their two sons.
Miracle Fruit (2003)
At the Drive-in Volcano (2007)
Lucky Fish (2011)
Lace & Pyrite (with Ross Gay, 2014)
OCEANIC (forthcoming 2018)