D.A. Powell will give a reading as part of the Northwestern University English Department 6th Annual Creative Writers' Festival D. A. Powell was born in Albany, Georgia on May 16, 1963. He attended the University of San Francisco, obtaining his bachelor's degree in 1991, and his master's in 1993. He then went on to receive his M.F.A. from the Iowa Writer’s Workshop in 1996.
He is the author of a trilogy of books, including Tea (Wesleyan, 1998); Lunch (2000); and Cocktails (Graywolf, 2004), which was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award. His most recent book, Chronic (2009) received the Kingsley Tufts Award and was nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award.
His subjects range from movies, art, and other trappings of contemporary culture to the AIDS pandemic. Powell’s work often returns to AIDS, and his three collections have been called a trilogy about the disease. As Carl Phillips wrote, in his judge’s note for Boston Review’s Annual Poetry Award, of Powell’s work, "No fear, here, of heritage nor of music nor, refreshingly, of authority. Mr. Powell recognizes in the contemporary the latest manifestations of a much older tradition: namely, what it is to be human."
Powell has received a Paul Engle Fellowship from the James Michener Center, a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Lyric Poetry Award from the Poetry Society of America, among other awards. He has taught at Columbia University, the University of Iowa, Sonoma State University, San Francisco State University, and served as the Briggs-Copeland Lecturer in Poetry at Harvard University. He currently teaches at the University of San Francisco, and edits the online magazine Electronic Poetry Review.