Kate Daniels was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia. The daughter of a British War bride of WWII, she was a first generation college student, educated at the University of Virginia (B.A. and M.A. in English Literature) and Columbia University (M.F.A. School of the Arts). At the beginning of her career, she was a Bunting Fellow at Harvard University, researching the life and poetry of Muriel Rukeyser. Over the years, her teaching career has taken her to the University of Virginia; the University of Massachusetts at Amherst; Louisiana State University; Wake Forest University; Bennington College; and Vanderbilt University, where she is the Edwin Mims Professor of English and Director of Creative Writing.
Her first book of poetry, The White Wave (Pittsburgh, 1984), won the Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize. Her second volume, The Niobe Poems (Pittsburgh, 1988), received honorable mention for the Paterson Poetry Prize. Her third and fourth volumes, Four Testimonies (1998), and A Walk in Victoria’s Secret (2010), were selected by Dave Smith for the Southern Messenger Series, published by LSU Press. LSU will publish her fifth collection, In the Months of My Son’s Recovery, in the spring of 2019. A sixth collection of chapbook length, Three Syllables Describing Addiction, will be published in the fall of 2018 by Bull City Press. While still in graduate school, Daniels was one of the founding editors of Poetry East. She has also edited two books, including Of Solitude and Silence: Writings on Robert Bly (Beacon Press, coeditor), and Out of Silence: Selected Poems of Muriel Rukeyser (TriQuarterly)
Daniels’ poems are collected in more than seventy anthologies, including The Extraordinary Tide: New Poetry by American Women (Columbia University); Twentieth Century American Poetry (Chadwyck-Healey); Longman Anthology of Women’s Literature (Longman); Literature, Class, and Culture: An Anthology (Longman); The Made Thing: An Anthology of Contemporary Southern Poetry (University of Arkansas); Gods and Mortals: Modern Poems on Classical Myths (Oxford University); Hard Lines: Rough Southern Poetry (University of South Carolina Press); Working Classics: Poems on Industrialization (University of Illinois Press); and Bared: Poems of Bras and Breasts (Les Femmes Folles Press). Individual poems have appeared in numerous journals and magazines, and have been the recipient of awards, including the Hanes Award for Poetry, from the Fellowship of Southern Writers; the Best American Poetry 2010, edited by Amy Gerstler; the Best American Poetry 2008, edited by Charles Wright; the Crazyhorse Prize for Poetry; the Pushcart Prize, the Louisiana Literature Poetry Prize, and the James Dickey Prize from Five Points: A Journal of Literature and Art. In 2003, she served as a judge for the National Book Award in Poetry. In 2013, she was a Guggenheim Fellow in Poetry. In 2015, she was elected to the Fellowship of Southern Writers.
Over the years, Daniels has taught poetry in many settings other than universities, including hospitals and outpatient programs; community centers; cancer support groups; elementary schools; psychoanalytic training centers; and – most recently – within the addiction recovery community. She is on the writing faculty of the New Directions program at the Washington Baltimore Center for Psychoanalysis
Kate Daniels resides in Nashville, Tennessee.