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Maurya Simon Maurya Simon

Professor Emeritus

Office: 4145 INTS
Phone: (951) 827-5570
E-mail: maurya.simon@ucr.edu

Personal Website

Areas of Specialization

Contemporary American Poetry; Literature of South Asia; American Women Poets

Biographical Note

Maurya Simon is the author of eight volumes of poetry, including The Enchanted Room and Days of Awe (Copper Canyon Press, 1986, 1989), Speaking in Tongues (Gibbs Smith, 1990), which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, and The Golden Labyrinth (University of Missouri Press, 1995). Her fifth volume, A Brief History of Punctuation, was published in a limited edition by the fine letter-press book publisher, Sutton Hoo Press, and another letter-press collection of ekphrastic poems, WEAVERS, based on the paintings of Los Angeles artist Baila Goldenthal, was published by Blackbird Press in 2005. Simon's seventh volume, Ghost Orchid (Red Hen Press, 2004) was nominated for a 2004 National Book Award in Poetry, and her eighth volume, Cartographies, was published by Red Hen Press in September 2008."Tamar," an opera by French composer, Eliane Aberdam, and based on Simon's eponymous verse libretto, premiered at the University of Rhode Island in March of 2007.

Simon has been a fellow at The MacDowell Colony and the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, as well as serving as a 2005 Poet-in-Residence at the Vermont Studio Center. In addition, she has been a fellow at Hawthornden Castle in Edinburgh, Scotland and at the Baltic Centre for Writers and Translators in Visby, Sweden. Simon has also served as a Visiting Professor at Lund University in Sweden. She has twice been the recipient of a Visiting Artist Fellowship from the American Academy in Rome, as well as having received a Fellowship in Poetry from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), a University Award from the Academy of American Poets, the Celia B. Wagner and Lucille Medwick Memorial Awards from the Poetry Society of America, and a Fulbright/Indo-American Fellowship in Bangalore, South India. In addition, Simon's poetry has been translated into French, Rumanian, Bengali, Swedish, Spanish, and Farsi.

Maurya Simon lives in the Angeles National Forest of the San Gabriel Mountains in Southern California.

Books of Poetry

  • WEAVERS, Blackbird Press, 2005
  • GHOST ORCHID, Red Hen Press, 2004
  • A BRIEF HISTORY OF PUNCTUATION, Sutton Hoo Press, 2002
  • THE GOLDEN LABYRINTH, University of Missouri Press, 1995
  • SPEAKING IN TONGUES, Gibbs Smith Publishers, 1990
  • DAYS OF AWE, Copper Canyon Press, 1989
  • THE ENCHANTED ROOM, Copper Canyon Press, 1986

Recent Anthology Appearances:

  • YOWL (Little, Brown, & Co., 2001)
  • The Extraordinary Tide: Poetry by Contemporary American Women (Columbia University, 2001)
  • BARK (Little, Brown, & Co., 2000)
  • Ravishing DisUnities: Real Ghazals in English (Wesleyan University Press, 2000)
  • The Geography of Home (Hey Day Press, 1999)
  • After the First Rain (Dryad Press, 1997)
  • The First Yes (Dryad Press, 1997)
  • The Gift of Tongues (Copper Canyon Press, 1996)
  • Dog Music (St. Martin's Press, 1996)
  • The Erotic Spirit (Shambhala Books, 1996)
  • Articulations (Univ. of Iowa Press, 1995)
  • What Will Suffice (Gibbs Smith, 1995)
  • Atomic Ghost: Poets Respond to the Nuclear Age (Coffee House Press, 1995)
  • The Invisible Ladder (Henry Holt & Co., 1996)
  • Marilyn, My Marilyn (Pennywhistle Press, 1996)
  • Marriage: An Anthology (Simon & Schuster, 1990)
  • In My Mother's Garden (Gibbs Smith, 1993)
  • The Forgotten Language (Gibbs Smith, 1990)
  • Changing Light (HarperCollins, 1991)
  • Blood to Remember: American Poets on the Holocaust (Texas Tech Univ. Press, 1990)
  • Anthology of Magazine Verse & Yearbook of American Poetry (Monitor Books, 1987, 1989, 1991, 1995, 1998)

Poetry in Periodicals:

  • The New Yorker
  • The Georgia Review
  • Poetry
  • TriQuarterly
  • The Southern Review
  • Ironwood
  • Grand Street
  • Agni
  • The Kenyon Review
  • Salmagundi
  • Colorado Review
  • Hudson Review
  • Missouri Review
  • Verse
  • The Gettysburg Review
  • Literary Review
  • Yankee
  • L.A. Times Book Review
  • Poetry East
  • The Journal
  • Ploughshares
  • Prairie Schooner
  • Orion
  • Shenandoah
  • Crab Orchard Review
  • Ontario Review
  • Seneca Review
  • Black Warrior Review
  • Grove Magazine
  • Pacific Review
  • Cumberland Poetry Review
  • Alaska Review
  • Kansas Quarterly
  • Michigan Quarterly Review
  • Poetry Ireland
  • New England Review
  • Calyx
  • Poetry International
  • California Quarterly
  • Atlanta Review
  • The Mississippi Review
  • The Women's Review of Books
  • Image: A Journal of the Arts & Religion
    and many others

Poetry Readings:

  • Academy of American Poets
  • Chapters Bookstore
  • The Writer's Center, Pima College
  • The Webb Schools, Chateau Marmont
  • Arundel Bookstore, Bear Street Cafe
  • Upchurch & Brown Bookstore
  • Josyln Senior Center, Laguna Beach Library
  • Barnes & Noble Bookstore
  • Wichita State University
  • Long Beach City College
  • Arundel Books, The Real Bookstore
  • Calif. State Universities at Pomona
  • San Diego and San Bernardino
  • University of California, at Riverside
  • Santa Barbara, and Berkeley
  • South Bay Cultural Arts Center
  • Poetry Society of America
  • Bangalore University (India)
  • Laguna Beach Library
  • Elliot Bay Bookstore
  • University of Michigan
  • Chapman College
  • Pomona
  • Pitzer and Scripps Colleges
  • University of Judaism
  • Huntington Library
  • Claremont Books & Prints
  • Synthaxis Theater
  • Huntley Bookstore
  • Westridge Girls School
  • Long Beach Youth Home High School
  • Girls Republic, Bread Loaf Writers Conference
  • Catskills Poetry Conference
  • Claremont Public Library
  • Lund University (Sweden)
  • Winding Stair Bookshop (Ireland)
  • Ledbury Poetry Festival (England)
    and many others


  • M.F.A. in English/Poetry, University of California, Irvine
  • B.A. in English Literature, Pitzer College
  • English & American Literature, University of California, Berkeley

Teaching Positions:

  • Professor in Creative Writing, University of California, Riverside (UCR), 1997-present
  • Associate Professor, UCR, 1995-1997
  • Assistant Professor, UCR, 1991-1994
  • Lecturer in Creative Writing, UCR, 1984-1990; Visiting Poet, California Institute of Technology (Caltech), 1990-1997
  • Visiting Poet, University of Redlands, 1988; Visiting Poet, Pitzer College, 1982-1983, 1986
  • Instructor in English, Visiting Writer, Scripps College, 1986-1987
  • Instructor in English & Creative Writing, University of California, Irvine, 1982-1984


  • Contemporary Authors
  • Who's Who in American Writers
  • Who's Who in Writers, Editors, & Poets
  • The International Writers & Authors Who's Who
  • International Directory of Women Writers
  • Directory of American Poets & Fiction Writers

Honors and Awards:

  • Visiting Artist/Scholar, The American Academy in Rome, June 2002
  • Judge, Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, Modern Poetry Association, May 2002
  • University of California Faculty Exchange: Lund University, Sweden, 2000
  • NEA Fellowship in Poetry 1999-2000
  • Fellow, Baltic Center for Writers & Translators, Visby, Sweden, 1997
  • Fellow, Hawthornden Castle, Edinburgh, Scotland, 1995
  • Mary Caroline Davies Award, 1993, & Celia B. Wagner Award, 1994, Poetry Society of America
  • Fellow, Center for Ideas & Society, U.C. Riverside, 1993
  • Fulbright/Indo-American Fellowship, 1990-91
  • Nominee for 1991 McArthur Fellowship
  • Nominee for 1990 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry; Peregrine Smith Poetry Award, 1989
  • Nominee, Lamont Prize, Academy of American Poets, 1989
  • Roberts Writing Award, 1989; First Prize, SCCA International Poetry Contest, 1987
  • Emerging Writer Award, 1987; First Prize, National Federation of State Poetry Societies, 1984
  • University Award, Academy of American Poets, 1984


  • The Enchanted Room, Copper Cyn. Press, 1986
  • Days of Awe, Copper Canyon Press, 1989
  • Speaking in Tongues, Gibbs Smith Publ., 1990
  • The Golden Labyrinth, Univ. of Missouri Press, 1995
  • A Brief History of Punctuation, Sutton Hoo Press, 2002
  • Ghost Orchid, Red Hen Press, 2004