Harryette Mullen was born in Florence, Alabama, and raised in Fort Worth, Texas. She has earned a BA in English from the University of Texas at Austin and a PhD from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Early in her career as a poet, she worked in the Artists in Schools program sponsored by the Texas Commission on the Arts, and for six years she taught literature at Cornell University.
Mullen’s most recent books include Urban Tumbleweed (Graywolf Press, 2013); Blues Baby: Early Poems (Bucknell University Press, 2002); and Sleeping with the Dictionary (University of California Press, 2002), a finalist for the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Los Angeles Times Book Award in poetry. Three of her earliest collections—all published in the 1990s—were collected into Recyclopedia (Graywolf Press, 2006), which received a PEN Beyond Margins Award. In 2013, Mullen published the chapbook Broken Glish: Five Prose Poems by Harryette Mullen with The Center For Book Arts.