Poet, activist, playwright and essayist Rachel McKibbens is the author of the poetry collections Into the Dark and Emptying Field (2013) and Pink Elephant (2009). The Rumpus wrote of Pink Elephant, “McKibbens awakens and haunts with selfless honesty.” Her poems, short stories, essays and creative non-fiction have been featured in numerous journals and blogs, including Her Kind, The Los Angeles Review, The Best American Poetry Blog, The Nervous Breakdown, The Rumpus, The London Magazine, The Acentos Review, World Literature Today, Radius, and The American Poetry Journal.
McKibbens is a well-known member of the poetry slam community: she is a nine-time National Poetry Slam team member, has appeared on eight NPS final stages, and coached the New York louderARTS poetry slam team to three consecutive final stage appearances, was the 2009 Women of the World Poetry Slam champion and the 2011 National Underground Poetry Slam individual champion. McKibbens appeared on two seasons of Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry Jam and was featured in the poetry slam documentary Slam Planet in 2006 at SXSW. In 2011, McKibbens was commissioned by The Getty Center in Los Angeles to write and perform an ekphrastic poem for their multi-media poetry event Dark Blushing.
For four years McKibbens taught poetry through the Healing Arts Program at Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan and continues to teach poetry and creative writing and give lectures across the country as an advocate for mental illness, gender-equality, and victims of violence and domestic abuse. A poetry fellow for the New York Foundation, she lives with her family in upstate New York, where she teaches poetry and co-curates the monthly reading series Poetry & Pie Night.