Poet and editor Kate Daniels was born in Richmond, Virginia. The first in her family to graduate from college, Daniels earned a BA and an MA from the University of Virginia and an MFA from Columbia University. She converted to Catholicism as an adult, and her often lengthy, narrative poems engage engages themes of working class experience, family, trauma, racism, and Southern culture.
Daniels has published several collections of poetry, including The Niobe Poems (1988), Four Testimonies (1998), and A Walk in Victoria's Secret (2010). Reviewing Daniels’s Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize–winning debut, The White Wave (1984), for the Village Voice, critic James Hunter noted, “Time and again [Daniels] reexamines lyric epiphany with the brute language, the cruel music of the everyday.”
Daniels co-edited, with Richard Jones, Of Solitude and Silence: Writings on Robert Bly (1981). She also edited Muriel Rukeyser’s selected poems, Out of Silence (1992), and edited and published the literary journal Poetry East, with Richard Jones from 1980 to 1990.
Daniels has won the Hanes Award for Poetry from the Fellowship of Southern Writers, a Pushcart Prize, the Louisiana Literature Prize for Poetry, the James Dickey Prize, the Crazyhorse Prize for Poetry, and fellowships from the Lannan Foundation and Harvard University’s Bunting Institute. Her work has been widely anthologized, including in Best American Poetry.
She has taught at Bennington College, Louisiana State University, the University of Virginia, and Wake Forest University. Currently she is professor of English and creative writing at Vanderbilt University.