Leithauser was born in Baltimore and grew up in Maryland and Central Florida. Over the years she has worked as a salad chef, real estate office manager, gourmet food salesperson, freelance copy editor, phone surveyor, bookstore clerk, fact checker, and, most recently, senior reference librarian at the Department of Energy in Washington, D.C.
Returning to writing after a break of several decades, her work has appeared in publications such as Poetry, Agni Online, Crazyhorse, the Gettysburg Review, the Iowa Review, Meridian, Pleiades, and Best American Poetry.
Leithauser is the recipient of the Discovery/The Nation Prize as well as an Individual Artist’s Grant from the Maryland State Arts Council.
Swoop is described as “a sonically audacious first book, a ringing up and down the musical scales. Hailey Leithauser’s resplendent array of forms—from traditional verse to more fragmented, onrushing experiments—takes the reader to the heights of lyricism.”
Swoop won the Poetry Foundation’s Emily Dickinson First Book Award in 2012.
Established in 1979 with a grant from Alice and Franklin Cooley, the Towson University Prize for Literature is awarded annually for a single book or book-length manuscript of fiction, poetry, drama or imaginative nonfiction by a Maryland writer. The prize is granted on the basis of literary and aesthetic excellence as determined by a panel of distinguished judges appointed by the university.
Author bio and photograph courtesy of the Poetry Foundation