Rebecca Gayle Howell is the author of Render /An Apocalypse (2013), which was selected by Nick Flynn for the Cleveland State University First Book Prize and was a 2014 finalist for ForeWord Review's Book of the Year and the Weatherford Award for Appalachian Literature. Her second book, American Purgatory (2017), won the Sexton Prize, judged by Don Share, and was published by Eyewear Publishing in both the United Kingdom and the United States.

Howell is also the translator of Amal al-Jubouri's Hagar Before the Occupation/Hagar After the Occupation (Alice James Books, 2011), which was named a 2011 Best Book of Poetry by Library Journal and shortlisted for Three Percent's 2012 Best Translated Book Award. Among her awards are fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown and the Carson McCullers Center, as well as a 2014 Pushcart Prize. Native to Kentucky, Howell is the James Still writer-in-residence at the Hindman Settlement School.