Photo Credit: Jamie Clifford

Maurya Simon

b. 1950

Current City, State, Country

Mt. Baldy, California, USA

Birth City, State, Country

New York, New York, USA


Maurya Simon was born in New York City and grew up in Europe and Southern California. Educated at the U.C. Berkeley, Pitzer College, and U.C. Irvine, where she received her MFA, Simon also lived in South India, where she studied Tamil and pranayama yoga. Her tenth volume of poetry, The Wilderness: New and Selected Poems, received the 2019 Gold Medal in Poetry from the Independent Booksellers Association. Additional honors include: an NEA Fellowship in Poetry, a University Award from the Academy of American Poets, the Mary Caroline Davies and Celia B. Wagner Awards from the Poetry Society of America, a Fulbright Fellowship to Bangalore, Karnatika (South India), and multiple residencies at the American Academy in Rome, the MacDowell Colony, Hawthornden Castle (Scotland), and the Visby Center for Writers & Translators (Sweden). Simon’s poetry is widely anthologized, and she’s given poetry readings nationally and internationally. A ten-time Pushcart Prize nominee, her poems, essays, and reviews have been published in numerous journals, including The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times, and as part of multimedia exhibits and performances. Simon’s poems have been translated into Hebrew, French, Spanish, Greek, and Farsi, and her recent poems have appeared in Poetry, The Hudson Review, The Georgia Review, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, The Southern Review, New Letters, The Gettysburg Review, and American Literary Review. A Professor of the Graduate Division at the University of California, Riverside, Simon lives in the Angeles National Forest in the San Gabriel Mountains.

Published Works

The Wilderness: New & Selected Poems, 1980-2016 (Red Hen Press, 2018)
Questions My Daughters Asked Me, Answers I Never Gave Them (limited edition, letterpress book; Blackbird Press, 2014)
The Raindrop’s Gospel: The Trials of St. Jerome & St. Paula (Elixir Press, 2010)
Cartographies, Uncollected Poems, 1980-2005 (Red Hen Press, 2008)
Weavers, with illustrations by artist Baila Goldenthal (Blackbird Press, 2005)
Ghost Orchid (Red Hen Press, 2004)
A Brief History of Punctuation (Sutton Hoo Press, 2002; The University of Georgia Press, 2000)
The Golden Labyrinth (University of Missouri Press, Columbia, MO and London, UK, 1995)
Speaking in Tongues (Gibbs Smith Books, 1990)
Days of Awe (Copper Canyon Press, 1989)
The Enchanted Room (Copper Canyon Press, 1986)

Author Site

Links to Sample Works

Current Title

Professor of the Graduate Division, Professor Emerita, University of California, Riverside


M.F.A. in English/Creative Writing: University of California, Irvine, 1984
B.A. in English & Creative Writing, with Honors: Pitzer College, Claremont, 1980
University of California, Berkeley, Honor Student, 1968-1971

Subject Matter