An Alabama native, Emma Bolden received a BLA from Sarah Lawrence College and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. She was a recipient of a 2017 Creative Writing Fellowship in poetry from the National Endowment for the Arts and a 2019 Literary Arts Fellowship from the Alabama State Council on the Arts.
Her first full-length collection, Maleficae, is a book-length series of poems about the witch trials in early modern Europe. Maleficae was a finalist for the 42 Miles Press Poetry Prize and the Cleveland State University Press First Book Award as well as a semi-finalist for the Perugia Press Prize and the Brittingham and Felix Pollak Prizes; it was published by GenPop Books in 2013.
Her second full-length collection, medi(t)ations, is a book-length lyric essay/poetry hybrid published by Noctuary Press in 2016.
House Is An Enigma, her third full-length collection of poetry, won the 2017 Cowles Poetry Book Prize and was published by Southeast Missouri State University Press in 2018.
She is also the author of three chapbooks of poetry — How to Recognize a Lady (part of Edge by Edge, Toadlily Press), The Sad Epistles (Dancing Girl Press) and This Is Our Hollywood (The Chapbook) — and a nonfiction chapbook, Geography V (Winged City Press).
Emma Bolden’s poetry and prose has appeared (or will soon appear) in such journals as the Black Warrior Review, Puerto del Sol, Shenandoah, New Madrid, the Mississippi Review, TriQuarterly, Story Quarterly, The Pinch, Waccamaw, The Rumpus, Prairie Schooner, Conduit, the Indiana Review, the Greensboro Review, Redivider, Verse, Feminist Studies, The Journal, Guernica, and Copper Nickel. Bolden has been featured on Poetry Daily and in Verse Daily’s Web Weekly series, and her work was chosen for inclusion in Best Small Fictions 2015, Best American Poetry 2015, and The Norton Introduction to Literature (13th Edition).
She was the winner of the 2009 Betty Gabehart Award for Nonfiction from the Kentucky Womens Writers Conference, the Yalobusha Review’s 2010 All-In Nonfiction Prize, the 2014 Barthelme Prize for Short Prose from Gulf Coast Magazine, the Spoon River Poetry Review’s 2014 Editor’s Prize, the Press 53/Prime Number Magazine 2014 Award for Flash Nonfiction, and So to Speak’s 2015 Feminist Poetry Contest.
After several years as Senior Reviews Editor, Bolden now serves as an Associate Editor-in-Chief at Tupelo Quarterly. She lives in Birmingham, Alabama.
Emma Bolden can be reached by e-mail at emmaboldenwrites [at] gmail [dot] com or through the form below.