Robin Coste Lewis’ debut poetry collection, Voyage of the Sable Venus (Knopf) won the National Book Award in poetry––the first time a poetry debut by an African-American had ever won the prize in the National Book Foundation’s history, and the first time any debut had won the award since 1974. Voyage of the Sable Venus was a finalist for LA Times Book Prize, the Hurston-Wright Award, and the California Book Award. The Paris Review, The New Yorker, The New York Times, Buzz Feed, and Entropy Magazine all named Voyage one of the best poetry collections of the year. Lewis received her BA from Hampshire College in creative writing and comparative literature; an MTS degree in Sanskrit and comparative religious literature from the Divinity School at Harvard University; an MFA in poetry at New York University; and a PhD from the University of Southern Creative Writing and Literature Program, where she was a Provost’s Fellow in poetry and visual studies.
Robin Coste Lewis
Poet Laureate of Los Angeles*
2017 – 2019
Reading On the Road to Sri Bhuvaneshari