Born in Portland, Oregon, poet Camille Rankine earned a BA at Harvard University and an MFA at Columbia University. Rankine’s nimble, urgent poems are often concerned with landscape, history, and intimacy. Slow Dance with Trip Wire (2011) was chosen by poet Cornelius Eady for the Poetry Society of America’s New York Chapbook Fellowship. In his 2010 introduction to her work in the Academy of American Poets journal American Poet, Eady states, “Almost all the poems in Slow Dance [w]ith Trip Wire seem to occur in an ever-present, ever-widening past tense. The private and public, the light and dark, and the spirit and “normal” worlds co-mingle freely, sometimes stanza by stanza, at times almost line by line.” In an interview with Marietta Papic for 12 Questions, Rankine states, “I tell the truth, but I try to be kind about it.” Her first book of poetry, Merciful Impulses, will be published by Copper Canyon.
Rankine’s honors include a “Discovery”/Boston Review Poetry Prize, a MacDowell Colony Fellowship, and an honorary Cave Canem Fellowship. She has served on the staff of the Cave Canem Foundation. She lives in New York City, where she teaches at and directs the Manhattanville College MFA program, serves as editorial director for the online literary journal The Manhattanville Review, and sings with the band Miru Mir.
In April 2014, Camille Rankine was a featured writer for Harriet.