Ilya Kaminsky was born in Odessa, in the former Soviet Union, and arrived in the United States as a teenager when his family was granted asylum by the American government. He earned a B.A. in political science from Georgetown University and a J.D. from the University of California’s Hastings College of the Law. He currently holds the Bourne Chair in Poetry at Georgia Institute of Technology and lives in Atlanta, Georgia.
Kaminsky’s poems have been translated into over twenty languages. He is the author of Deaf Republic (2019), short-listed for the National Book Award and a New York Times’ Notable Book for 2019, and Dancing In Odessa (2004) and co-editor and co-translator of many other books, including The Ecco Anthology of International Poetry (2010) and Dark Elderberry Branch: Poems of Marina Tsvetaeva(2012). With Paloma Capanna, he co-founded Poets for Peace, which sponsors poetry readings across the globe to support relief work.
Following the publication of Deaf Republic, the BBC named Kaminsky as one of “12 artists that changed the world in 2019.” Among other honors, he has been the recipient of the Los Angeles Times Book Award, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, the National Jewish Book Award, the Whiting Award, the Metcalf Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and Poetry magazine’s Levinson Prize, as well as fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Lannan Foundation, the Academy of American Poets, and the National Endowment for the Arts.