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Elizabeth Robinson was born in Denver, Colorado, in December of 1961. She completed her undergraduate work at Bard College and received an MA in creative writing at Brown University and an MDiv and an MA in ethics at Pacific School of Religion. Robinson lived for many years in the Bay Area, where she taught at California Institute of Integral Studies and the University of San Francisco, co-edited 26 Magazine, and curated a backyard reading series at her house in Berkeley. She has long worked as an editor with Colleen Lookingbill at EtherDome Press, which publishes chapbooks by women who have never had a chapbook or book published before. She is also a co-editor, with Laura Sims and Beth Anderson (and a revolving crew of other editors), of Instance Press. Robinson moved in 2005 to Boulder, Colorado, where she teaches at Naropa University.
Robinson is the author of ten books of poetry and many chapbooks. In 2000, both House Made of Silver (Kelsey St. Press) and Harrow (Omnidawn) were published. In 2002, she won the National Poetry Series for Pure Descent, which was the last book published by Sun & Moon Press. A year later, she was awarded the Fence Modern Poets Prize for Apprehend. Subsequent books include Apostrophe (Apogee Press), named a "book of the year" on the Shearsman website, Under That Silky Roof (Burning Deck Press), Inaudible Trumpeters (Harbor Mountain Press), and The Orphan & its Relations (Fence Books). Robinson has been a MacDowell Colony Fellow and a recipient of a grant from the Fund for Poetry. In 2008, she received a $25,000 Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists Award. Her essays have recently been published in The Grand Permission: New Writing on Motherhood and Poetics (Wesleyan University Press) and Radical Vernacular: Lorine Niedecker and the Poetics of Place (University of Iowa Press). Her work is also included in the new Norton anthology, American Hybrid. Forthcoming books include Also Known As, to be published by Apogee Press, and Counterpart, slated for publication with Ahsahta Press; and a chapbook, Reply, will be published by Pavement Saw Press.