Born in Istanbul, Turkey, to Iranian parents, Solmaz Sharif holds degrees from the University of California, Berkeley, where she studied and taught with June Jordan’s Poetry for the People, and New York University. She is the author of the poetry collection Look (Graywolf Press, 2016), a finalist for the National Book Award and the PEN Open Book Award and the winner of the 2017 American Book Award for poetry. Her first published poem, included in A World Between: Poems, Short Stories, and Essays by Iranian-Americans (George Braziller, 1999), was written at the age of 13. Her work has appeared in Poetry, the Kenyon Review, jubilat, Gulf Coast, Boston Review, Witness and other publications.
The former managing director of the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, Sharif has had her work recognized with a “Discovery”/Boston Review Poetry Prize, scholarships from NYU and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center, the Rona Jaffe Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. A former Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, Sharif is the recipient of a 2016 Lannan Literary Fellowship and the Holmes National Poetry Prize from Princeton University. In 2017 she received the PEN Center Literary Award for Poetry.
In 2014, Sharif was awarded a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry fellowship from the Poetry Foundation. She is currently a Jones Lecturer at Stanford University.