Nicole Cooley grew up in New Orleans, Louisiana. She is the director of the MFA Program in Creative Writing and Literary Translation at Queens College where she is a professor of English. She received her BA from Brown University, her MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and her PhD from Emory University. Her first book of poetry, Resurrection (Louisiana State University Press, 1996), was chosen by Cynthia Macdonald to receive the 1995 Walt Whitman Award. Her second book of poetry, The Afflicted Girls (Louisiana State University Press, 2004), about the Salem witch trials of 1692, was chosen as one of the best poetry books of the year by Library Journal. She is also the author of the novel Judy Garland, Ginger Love (Regan Books/Harper Collins, 1998). Her third book of poetry is Breach (Louisiana State University Press, 2009), a collection of poems about Hurricane Katrina and the Gulf Coast.

Photo credit: Victor Balaban