Kaveh Akbar

Kaveh Akbar (کاوه اکبر) is an Iranian-American poet and scholar.[1] Akbar was born in Tehran, Iran, in 1989. He is the author of Pilgrim Bell, published by Graywolf Press, Calling a Wolf a Wolf, published by Alice James Books in the US and Penguin Books in the UK, and the chapbook, Portrait of the Alcoholic, published by Sibling Rivalry Press. In 2014, he founded the poetry interview website Divedapper. He received his MFA from Butler University, and his PhD in Creative Writing from Florida State University.[2] He is a faculty member at Purdue University, and on the faculty of the low-residency MFA programs at Randolph College and Warren Wilson College. In 2018, he married the American poet Paige Lewis.

Kaveh Akbar
Kaveh Akbar
Kaveh Akbar
BornKaveh Akbar (کاوه اکبر)
(1989-01-15) 15 January 1989 (age 32)
Tehran, Iran
OccupationPoet, editor, professor
Notable worksPilgrim Bell, Calling a Wolf a Wolf, Portrait of the Alcoholic

His poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Poetry Magazine, Best American Poetry, The New Republic, Paris Review, PBS NewsHour,[3] Tin House, and elsewhere.[4][5][6] Akbar founded the website Divedapper.com, where he interviewed major voices in contemporary American poetry,[3] and he is a member of the collective podcast All Up in Your Ears. On September 1, 2016, Akbar was awarded the Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation.[7] In 2018, NPR called Akbar "poetry's biggest cheerleader.".[8] With Ocean Vuong, he wrote poems for the 2018 film The Kindergarten Teacher, starring Maggie Gyllenhaal.[9] In 2019, The New Yorker published an online feature around Akbar's long poem "The Palace", and announced that his second full-length poetry collection, Pilgrim Bell, would be published in 2021 by Graywolf Press.[10] In 2020, Akbar was named Poetry Editor of The Nation, a position previously held by Langston Hughes, Anne Sexton, and William Butler Yeats.

Awards and honorsEdit

Selected poemsEdit


  • Pilgrim Bell. Graywolf Press. forthcoming 2021
  • Calling a Wolf a Wolf. Alice James Books. 2017. ISBN 978-1938584671.
  • Portrait of the Alcoholic. Sibling Rivalry Press. 2017. ISBN 978-1943977277.


  1. ^ Frank, Priscilla (January 30, 2017). "Read These Poems By Writers From Each of the Muslim Ban Countries". HuffPost. Retrieved February 22, 2017.
  2. ^ Lewis, Paige (October 24, 2018). "Tweet from Paige Lewis". Twitter. Retrieved October 31, 2018.[non-primary source needed]
  3. ^ a b Staff, Harriet (January 5, 2016). "Kaveh Akbar Reads "Palmyra" at PBS NewsHour". Poetry Foundation. Archived from the original on February 22, 2017. Retrieved February 22, 2017.
  4. ^ "Read poems from the 7 countries affected by Trump's immigration ban". PBS NewsHour. Retrieved February 22, 2017.
  5. ^ "The Well Review: an arts journal springs up in Cork". The Irish Times. Retrieved February 22, 2017.
  6. ^ Frank, Priscilla (February 7, 2017). "American Orchestras Are Celebrating Refugees And Immigrants Through Song". HuffPost. Retrieved February 22, 2017.
  7. ^ "2016 Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship Winners Announced". The Poetry Foundation. September 1, 2016. Archived from the original on March 14, 2017. Retrieved March 13, 2017.
  8. ^ Verma, Jeevika. "Kaveh Akbar Is Poetry's Biggest Cheerleader".
  9. ^ Alter, Alexandra (November 23, 2018). "Hollywood Has Long Turned to Novelists for Help. But Poets?". The New York Times.
  10. ^ Akbar, Kaveh. "The Palace".
  11. ^ "Kaveh Akbar's poem awarded a Pushcart Prize". Facebook. Retrieved September 11, 2017.[non-primary source needed]
  12. ^ "Butler Newsroom | Kaveh Akbar MFA '15 Awarded Prestigious Poetry Fellowship". news.butler.edu. Retrieved February 22, 2017.

External linksEdit