Mary Hickman was born in Caldwell, Idaho. The daughter of Christian missionaries, Hickman grew up in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. After graduating from high school in Taiwan, she worked as a surgical tech assisting in open-heart surgeries. She earned an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, an MA from the University of Iowa, and a degree in book arts from the University of Iowa Center for the Book. With husband Robert Fernandez, she started Cosa Nostra Editions, a chapbook press. Her first full-length collection is This Is the Homeland (2015), a work of eight sequences written over a ten-year period. Her work also appears in the anthology The Arcadia Project (2012). She currently works for the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa.