Originally from Chicago, poet Leigh Stein dropped out of high school before taking courses at a community college. She also studied at Brooklyn College and in the acting program at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City. She is the author of the novel The Fallback Plan (2012) and the poetry collection Dispatch from the Future (2012).
Stein’s poems submerge stark emotional reflection within landscapes influenced by reality television, museum exhibits, and folk tales. In a 2009 interview with poet and blogger Gregory Lawless for his blog I Thought I Was New Here: Poems and Whatnot, Stein stated, “I think it would be fair to classify my poems as confessional, genuinely; I’m aiming for emotional honesty throughout, even in narratives that veer off into the absurd.” Publishers Weekly described Stein’s debut collection as “a mix both giddy and anguished that incorporates elements from fairy tale, pop-culture, ancient myth, and choose-your-own-adventure books. These poems swing between the dull throb of disappointment and what she calls ‘hope’s stubborn blindness.’”
Stein’s honors include an Amy Award from Poets & Writers and a Pushcart Prize nomination. She has worked on the New Yorker staff and taught drama to children. She lives in Brooklyn.