Poet Prageeta Sharma was born in Framingham, Massachusetts. Her parents emigrated from India in 1969, and Sharma was raised a Hindu. She has acknowledged the influence of her parents’ religion on her poetry: “I was taught to honor knowledge and books like a religion and so for me poetry keeps this relationship close, true, active,” she told the journal Willow Springs. Sharma attended Simon’s Rock College of Bard as an undergraduate and earned her MFA from Brown University and an MA in media studies from The New School. Her collections of poetry include Bliss to Fill (2000), The Opening Question (2004), which won the Fence Modern Poets Prize, Infamous Landscapes (2007), and Undergloom (2013). Sharma has spoken of her work in terms of thought rather than narrative. In Willow Springs, she noted, “It’s important to explore a variety of cognitive experiences in the poem rather than just telling a story.”
Sharma’s honors and awards include a Howard Foundation Grant. She has taught at the New School and Goddard College and is currently an associate professor in the MFA program in creative writing at the University of Montana-Missoula, of which she has also served as director. She is the founder and president of the conference/board Thinking Its Prescence: Race, Creative Writing, and Literary Studies.