Maurya Simon is the author of ten volumes of poetry, including Speaking in Tongues, a nominee for the 1990 Pulitzer Prize, Ghost Orchid, which was nominated in 2004 for a National Book Award in Poetry, Cartographies, (Red Hen Press, 2008), and most recently, a limited-edition letterpress book, Questions My Daughters Asked Me, Answers I Never Gave Them (Blackbird Press, 2014). Her novel-in-verse, entitled The Raindrop’s Gospel: The Trials of St. Jerome & St. Paula, was issued by Elixir Press in 2010. Simon’s tenth volume of poems, The Wilderness: New & Selected Poems, 1980-2016, was awarded the 2019 Gold Medal in Poetry by the Independent Booksellers Association.
Simon’s poetry has been translated into French, Rumanian, Bengali, Swedish, Spanish, Greek, and Farsi. An opera entitled “Tamar,” based on Simon’s eponymous verse libretto, premiered at the University of Rhode Island in March of 2007 and was attended by over 500 people. Her poem “Omnicide” was presented and published in 2020 as a broadside for the “Insectageddon Festival” at the High Line in New York City, a festival directed by Chilean artist and poet, Cecilia Vicuña.
Simon taught creative writing at the University of California, Riverside for nearly thirty years, and she currently serves as a Professor of the Graduate Division and a Professor Emerita at University of California, Riverside.
She has been the recipient of a Poetry Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), as well as a University Award from the Academy of American Poets, the Celia B. Wagner and Lucille Medwick Memorial Awards from the Poetry Society of America, and a 1991 Fulbright/Indo-American Fellowship, which allowed her a six-month-long writing sojourn in Bangalore, South India. Additional awards that Simon has received include: The Elixir Poetry Prize ($2000) in 2010, the Grand Prize ($500) for a poem selected by William Matthews in the SCCA International Poetry Competition (1997), and a University Award from the Academy of American Poets (1983).
Maurya Simon has held fellowships and residencies at the MacDowell Colony in New Hampshire; the Djerassi Resident Artists Program in Santa Cruz; the Baltic Centre for Writers & Translators in Visby, Sweden; at Hawthornden Castle in Edinburgh, Scotland; and at the American Academy in Rome. In addition, she served as a University of California faculty lecturer at Lund University in southern Sweden.
Her poems have appeared in over 250 literary magazines, including: The New Yorker, Poetry, TriQuarterly, The Southern Review, The Kenyon Review, The Georgia Review, The Hudson Review, New Letters, The Gettysburg Review, Grand Street, Agni, Ploughshares, Shenandoah, The Los Angeles Times Book Review, The New England Review, and in more than fifty poetry anthologies.
BOOKS OF POETRY:
The Enchanted Room, Copper Canyon Press, Port Townsend, WA, 1986
Days of Awe, Copper Canyon Press, Port Townsend, WA, 1989
Speaking in Tongues, Gibbs Smith Books, Salt Lake City, UT, 1990
The Golden Labyrinth, University of Missouri Press, Columbia, MO, 1995
A Brief History of Punctuation, Sutton Hoo Press, Winona, MN, 2002
Ghost Orchid, Red Hen Press, Los Angeles, CA, 2004
Weavers, (with artist Baila Goldenthal) Blackbird Press, Upland, CA, 2005
Cartographies, Uncollected Poems, 1980-2005, Red Hen Press, letterpress edition, L.A., CA, 2008
The Raindrop’s Gospel: The Trials of St. Jerome & St. Paula, Elixir Press, Denver, CO, 2010
The Wilderness: New & Selected Poems, 1980-2016, Red Hen Press, Pasadena, CA, 2018
A Brief History of Punctuation, University of Georgia Press (Athens, GA) 2001
Questions My Daughters Asked Me, Answers I Never Gave Them, Blackbird Press (Upland, CA) 2014