Paisley Rekdal is the author of a book of essays, The Night My Mother Met Bruce Lee; the hybrid photo-text memoir, Intimate; and six books of poetry: A Crash of Rhinos; Six Girls Without Pants; The Invention of the Kaleidoscope; Animal Eye, a finalist for the 2013 Kingsley Tufts Prize and winner of the UNT Rilke Prize; Imaginary Vessels, finalist for the 2018 Kingsley Tufts Prize, and Nightingale, which won the 2020 Washington State Book Award for Poetry. Her newest works of nonfiction are a book-length essay, The Broken Country: On Trauma, a Crime, and the Continuing Legacy of Vietnam and Appropriate: A Provocation. She guest edited Best American Poetry 2020. Two new books are forthcoming: a hybrid book-length poem entitled West: A Translation (Copper Canyon Press, 2023) and Real Toads: Imaginary Gardens: How to Read and Teach a Poem (W.W. Norton, 2024).
Her work has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Amy Lowell Poetry Traveling Fellowship, a Fulbright Fellowship, a Civitella Ranieri Residency, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, Pushcart Prizes (2009, 2013), Narrative's Poetry Prize, the AWP Creative Nonfiction Prize, and various state arts council awards. Her poems and essays have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, American Poetry Review, The Kenyon Review, Poetry, The New Republic, Tin House, the Best American Poetry series (2012, 2013, 2017, 2018, 2019), and on National Public Radio, among others.
She is a Distinguished Professor at the University of Utah, where she is also the creator and editor of West: A Translation, as well as the community web projects Mapping Literary Utah and Mapping Salt Lake City. In May 2017, she was named Utah's Poet Laureate and received a 2019 Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellowship.