About Khadijah

Khadijah Queen is a multidisciplinary writer and visual artist. Queen is ​the author of six books, most recently Anodyne (Tin House 2020), a ​finalist for the Colorado Book Award and winner of the William Carlos ​Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America. Her fifth book, I'm ​So Fine: A List of Famous Men & What I Had On (YesYes Books 2017), ​was praised in O Magazine, The New Yorker, Rain Taxi, and elsewhere ​as “quietly devastating” and “a portrait of defiance that turns the male ​gaze inside out.” Her verse play Non-Sequitur (Litmus Press 2015) won ​the Leslie Scalapino Award for Innovative Women's Performance ​Writing. The award included a full production at Theaterlab in New ​York City, directed by Fiona Templeton and performed by The ​Relationship theater company. A hybrid essay about the pandemic, ​“False Dawn,” appeared in Harper’s Magazine, was named a Notable ​Essay of 2020 in Best American Essays (HarperCollins 2021), and ​reprinted in the anthology Bigger Than Bravery (2023). Individual ​poems, interviews, and essays appear in Ploughshares, American ​Poetry Review, Georgia Review, The Believer, Orion, Fence, Poetry,​ Yale Review, The Offing, The Poetry Review (UK), and widely ​elsewhere. In 2022, she was awarded a Disability Futures fellowship​ from United States Artists. A Cave Canem alum, she holds a PhD in ​English and Literary Arts from University of Denver and teaches ​creative writing, literature and poetics. A book of criticism, Radical ​Poetics: Essays on Literature & Culture, is forthcoming in Spring 2025.

Photo credit: Marco Giugliarelli for the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, 2023


Winner of the 2021 William Carlos Williams Award for POETRY

Book cover for Anodyne. A collage by Romare Bearden; a rectangular triptych with colorful waves, a woman's face in profile, and her hand disembodied holding a dying rose. She faces right, has a yellow tint to her face, wears a pink flower crown

"We expect poetry to do specific things, to perform a certain way. We want it to bend. To conform. To understand itself for us, so to speak, so that we, the readers, are clear. Frequently, we forget that poetry is a hard and intentional work that must be itself...Khadijah Queen’s collection, Anodyne, is many things. Other reviewers have spoken to the collection’s strengths — its cleverness, its lyricality, the depth of its feminist introspection. I would like to add...that Queen’s poetry...has something important to say."

- Monique Ferrell, Bellevue Literary Review

"I felt drawn to the first-person complexities and multiplicities of transmorphed identities, and the lived experiences in fiction and poetry of mis/belonging...There’s much to love about Infinite Constellations."

- Eugen M. Bacon, Locus Mag

"This anthology...is full of surprises... [The editors] are re-envisioning what an anthology is and how it works and to whom it speaks. When I made this realization, I just thought, 'bout damn time.'”

- Arley Sorg, Lightspeed

Book cover. Title text off-white all caps: INFINITE CONSTELLATIONS
Subtitle: An Anthology of Identity, Culture & Speculative Conjunctions
Edited by Khadijah Queen and K. Ibura
Background image is of a galaxy of stars on a black sky.

Recent Anthologies

Cover for I Know What's Best For You (McSweeney's Books 2022). Title in handwriting style black text, red background, and subtitle in white: Stories of Reproductive Freedom. Quotes from reviewers: "Vital." -- Peter Ho Davies
Bigger than Bravery: Black Reslience and Reclamation in a Time of Pandemic book cover. Teal green background with title in shades of orange and author names in white, with a matching illustration of a plant and a fist.
Educational Worksheet Geometric Shapes

"Many of the stories in “I’m So Fine” serve as a testimony to the burdens that come, in this world, with existing in a woman’s body. Numerous moments are unsurprising, but no less infuriating for that. Each anecdote is funny until it isn’t, specific until it is everywhere...The book is an investigation of celebrity culture and toxic masculinity that moves at a lyrical sprint, stuffed with characters and movements, with the ampersand often serving as the only available punctuation. We rush along with Queen, experiencing the world as she does, and wanting, like her, to desperately fight our way out of it."

- Hanif Abdurraqib, The New Yorker

Book cover for I'm So Fine. Shades of red lipstick smears stylized over a black & white photo of two eyes staring straight ahead. Subtitle: A List of Famous Men & What I Had On. Note: A Narrative.
Purple Gradient Background

"[T]hese poems were written not out of the compulsion to be recognized, but instead out of a pressure to get to that part of living that reverberates—the stuff that makes us want to stay alive."

- Dawn Lundy Martin, Bomb Magazine, Spring 2016

Portions of Fearful Beloved (Argos Books 2015), were written during participation in artist Ann Hamilton’s event of a thread installation at the Park Avenue Armory. Photo credit: Paul Octavious 2011.

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Winner of the 2014 Leslie Scalapino Award for Innovative Women Performance Writers

Cover Design: HR Hegnauer. Photo credits: Paula Court.

"Non-Sequitur is a high theatrical challenge — its dozens of characters have voices on multiple registers: the voices in our heads, under our breaths, on our voicemail, hard to have to listen to, hilarious voices, blurted voices, bodily voices, but compact, searing, terse, not clamorous. They form an absurdity only too recognizable. This is our own experience...our conscious and unconscious lives. Prejudice and pain, slapstick and delicacy. Her deftness of touch is masterful. In each line the actor must live a life."

— Fiona Templeton, Director, 2015 production

Winner of the 2011 noemi book Award for POETRY

"This courageous, emancipatory collection of verse is also an invigoratingly challenging must-read. Queen's point of departure is a fragmented subjectivity which, in the hands of a poet less brave, could easily strangulate itself into enervating incoherence. Instead, Queen opts for modes of proceeding that are entirely generative: a series of defiant, epistolary addresses to various allegorized facets of the psyche; a prose-poem cycle that defies the degradation of torture even as it details its ravages with exemplary lyric detail; and a ribald yet politically-committed play that carries forward the illuminating excesses of Restoration Era-theater approximately 350 years. This book breaks chains; it is as robust, and yet also as intricate, a staging of the linguistic and psychosocial civil wars of the mind/body complex as we have seen in some time. Queen's work troubles, engages, and inspires. Highly recommended.”

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Book cover for Conduit. Green, aqua blue and black abstract wave-like. Title and author name in white. Black band on the bottom with series name (Black Goat)

"Conduit, Khadijah Queen’s debut collection, is itself a current that runs through a historical and mythical past, continuing through our troubled present. These stunning meditations seem to be engendered by a “bruising in the earth.” The poems in these sequences are called up out of the soil and already belong to us before we come to them. Her landscapes awaken from our unfolding ecological and anthropological devastations and serve as offerings to a conquered body that cannot be separated out from its own dwelling. There persists for Queen the “uncharted resilience” of the body. The brilliance of these poems resides in their ability to accommodate the complexity and disappointments of events like Hurricane Katrina (“The flood wide open—”) without denying the passage of time or the distances we hold before and after any moment in time...The beauty of the language and precision of the gaze transform into a spirit that remains present."

- Claudia Rankine, from the Introduction, 2008


Get in


Literary Agent:

Monika Woods

Bookings and commissions:

The Shipman Agency

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Photo credit:

Marco Giugliarelli for the

Civitella Ranieri Foundation, 2023

Photo of lavender fields in the south of France, taken by Khadijah in July 2023. Blue sky, low clouds, hills, trees, and rows of lavender.
Educational Worksheet Geometric Shapes

short CV

Khadijah Queen

Core Strengths

Contemporary Poetry & Poetics

Creative Writing

Creative Writing Pedagogy

American Literature

African-American Literature

Women's Literature

Literature & Disability

Literary Theory

Literary Citizenship


University of Denver

PhD, English & literary arts, 2016-2019

Dissertation: Radical Poetics (essays)

University of South Florida

MFA studies, Art studio, 2008-2009

Drawing, painting, performance art

Antioch University Los Angeles

MFA, Creative Writing, 2004-2007

Poetry, creative nonfiction

Post-MFA Certificate in Creative Writing Pedagogy

University of Maryland

BA, English, 2004

Major: American Literature. Minor: Humanities. Magna Cum Laude.


  • Final Judge, Hopwood Award in Drama, University of Michigan, 2022
  • Panel Judge, PEN Open Book Award, 2022
  • Judge, Inverted Syntax Poetry Prize, 2021
  • Member, AWP21 Ad Hoc Committee for Accessibility Services
  • Panel Judge, Kingsley & Kate Tufts Poetry Awards, 2018-2020

selected PROSE:


selected publications:


  • “The Repetition of the Wound.” The Yale Review, 2023.
  • “Empires as Language.” Provincetown Arts 2023-2024.
  • “Safety Plan.” Ploughshares, Spring 2022.
  • "Collage, unfinished." North American Review, Fall 2022.
  • Midwinter Constellation. Collaborative book-length poem. Becca Klaver, ed. ​Black Lawrence Press, December 2021.
  • “Anodyne.” Poetry Daily. Sept 25, 2020.
  • “Notice” and “Common Miracles.” New Delta Review, May 2019.
  • “Any Other Name.” In Halal if You Hear Me. Safia Elhillo and Fatimah ​Ashgar, eds. Haymarket Books 2019.
  • Nine poems in American Poetry Review. July 2018.
  • “The Dream Act,” “I Want to Not Have to Write Another Word About Who ​the Cops Keep Killing.” Letters to the Future: Black Women / Radical ​Writing. Erica Hunt and Dawn Lundy Martin, eds. Kore Press 2018.
  • "Something about the way I am made," "I wish I'd learned to take better ​care" and "Live unadorned." The Poetry Review (London, UK). Fall 2017.