Poet Olga Broumas was born in Ermoupoli, Greece. She received a Fulbright fellowship in 1967 and immigrated to the United States. Broumas earned her BA from the University of Pennsylvania and MA from the University of Oregon. Her first book to appear in the United States, Beginning with O (1977), won the Yale Younger Poets Award. Her work, which has been described as “Sapphic,” attempts to create a lesbian language attentive to the experiences of women. Her collections of poetry include Soie Sauvage (1979), Pastoral Jazz (1983), Perpetua (1989), Rave: Poems 1975–1999 (1999). Broumas’s collaborative works include Black Holes, Black Stockings (1985), with Jane Miller, and four books with T. Begley, including Sappho’s Gymnasium (1994), Helen Groves (1994), Unfolding the Tablecloth of God (1995), and Ithaca: Little Summer in Winter (1996). A noted translator of the Greek poet Odysseus Elytis, Broumas has translated his poetry in the following volumes: What I Love: Selected Poems of Odysseus Elytis (1986), The Little Mariner (1988), Open Papers: Selected Essays (1994), and Eros, Eros, Eros: Selected and Last Poems (1998).
Broumas’s honors and awards include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts for writing and translation, the Vermont Arts Council, and the Guggenheim Foundation. She has received a Witter Bynner Translation Grant, a Lambda Poetry Award, a Louis Dembitz Award for Excellence in Teaching, and a Norman Fund grant. She is Professor of the Practice of English at Brandeis University.