Emily Skaja was born and raised in rural Illinois. Her first book, BRUTE, won the Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American Poets. Emily is the recipient of a 2019-2020 Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. She holds an MFA in Poetry from Purdue University and a PhD in Creative Writing and Literature at the University of Cincinnati, where she was a Taft Summer Research Fellow and also earned a certificate in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Her poems have been published in Best New Poets, Blackbird, Crazyhorse, FIELD, and Gulf Coast, among other journals. She is the Poetry Co-Editor of Southern Indiana Review. She lives in Memphis.