Derrick Austin is the author of Tenderness (BOA Editions, 2021), winner of the 2020 Isabella Gardner Poetry Award, and Trouble the Water (BOA Editions, 2016) selected by Mary Szybist for the A. Poulin Jr, Poetry Prize. His first chapbook, Black Sand, is recently out from Foundlings Press. His debut collection was honored as a finalist for the Kate Tufts Discovery Award, Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry, Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry, and the Norma Faber First Book Award. Tenderness was a finalist for a Golden Poppy Award, Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry, and a Northern California Book Award.
Austin earned his bachelors in English and Creative Writing from the University of Tampa and an MFA in Poetry from the Helen Zell Writer's Program at the University of Michigan where he was awarded a Hopwood Award in Graduate Poetry and the Helen S. and John Wagner Prize rewarding distinction in the writing of poetry at the graduate level. His poems, essays, and reviews have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies including Best American Poetry 2015, The Academy of American Poets Poem-A-Day, The Nation, The New Republic, American Poetry Review, Poetry Magazine, New England Review, Poetry London, Australian Book Review, Image: A Journal of Arts and Religion, The Nervous Breakdown, Tupelo Quarterly, and Black Nerd Problems. He has had poems and essays commissioned by The Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, The New Museum, Craft Contemporary, The Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Arts, LAXART, and The Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles.
He is a 2022-2023 Amy Lowell Poetry Traveling Scholar. A Cave Canem fellow, Austin served as the 2016-2017 Ron Wallace Poetry Fellow at the Wisconsin Institute of Creative Writing. He was a 2019-2021 Stegner Fellow at Stanford University. He has taught creative writing and composition at the University of Michigan, University of Wisconsin, Stanford, and the University of San Francisco. He's led creative writing workshops across the country. He lives in Austin, TX. Contact him at derricklynn.austin [at] gmail.com.
Author photo by Danny Montemayor.