Tanya Grae is an American poet of Irish, Dutch, and Cherokee descent. Her poems and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in AGNI, Ploughshares, American Poetry Review, Prairie Schooner, New Ohio Review, The Massachusetts Review, Barrow Street, The Los Angeles Review, Post Road, and elsewhere in journals and anthologies. In 2016, Yusef Komunyakaa selected her poem “The Line of a Girl” to receive the 2016 Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival Poetry Prize.
Grae’s debut collection Undoll (YesYes Books, 2019) was a National Poetry Series finalist. And as a manuscript, it was a finalist in seven other contests: the Saturnalia Books Poetry Prize (2017), Four Way Levis Prize (2017), Barrow Street Prize (2017), Anhinga-Robert Dana Prize (2017), Permafrost Prize (U Alaska; 2017), Four Way Intro Prize (2016), and The Brittingham and Pollak Prizes (2016), as well as a Distinguished Mention by Tupelo Press (2017). She is also the author of the chapbook Lethe (Five Oaks Press, 2018).
Grae is a PhD creative writing student at Florida State University, where she won the 2018 John McKay Shaw Academy of American Poets Prize Graduate Award. She holds a dual-genre MFA in poetry and fiction from Bennington College and a BA in English from Rollins College, where she received the Arden Goettling Academy of American Poets Prize. She lives in Tallahassee with her daughters.
Photo credit: Morgan Van Velsor
“I admire how [Grae] sees us, our days, our bodies: “A body is sixty percent / ocean & the rest, sediment– / a ship at sea bears load to / the plimsoll.” I admire also how this poet lets us see the music of this very act of seeing: “I close my eyes & lull / against the translation of owls calling out— / If not you, someone. If not you, someone new.”