Paisley Rekdal  is the author of four books of nonfiction and seven collections of poetry, including Animal Eye, winner of the UNT Rilke Prize; Imaginary Vessels, finalist for the 2018 Kingsley Tufts Prize; Nightingale, winner of the 2020 Washington State Book Award for Poetry; and West: A Translation, which was longlisted for the 2023 National Book Award in Poetry and won the 2024 Kingsley Tufts Prize. Her newest works of nonfiction include 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.  A pedagogy book is forthcoming: Real Toads: Imaginary Gardens: On Reading and Writing Poetry Forensically (W.W. Norton).


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 YorkerThe 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 directs the American West Center. 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. She has been a Distinguished Visiting Professor at both Stanford and the Iowa Nonfiction Writing Program. Between 2017-2022, she served as Utah's Poet Laureate, receiving a 2019 Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellowship. She currently serves as poetry editor for High Country News, and as co-chair of PEN America's Utah Chapter.