Erica Dawson is the author of two collections of poetry: The Small Blades Hurt (Measure Press, 2014), winner of the 2016 Poets’ Prize, and Big-Eyed Afraid (Waywiser Press, 2007), winner of the 2006 Anthony Hecht Prize. Her poems have appeared in Barrow Street, Birmingham Poetry Review, Blackbird, Literary Imagination, Unsplendid, Virginia Quarterly Review, and other journals. Her poems have been featured in several anthologies, including Best American Poetry 2008, 2012, and 2015, American Society: What Poets See; Living in Storms: Contemporary Poetry and the Moods of Manic-Depression; and The Swallow Anthology of New American Poets. Erica’s third book, When Rap Spoke Straight to God, will be published by Tin House Books in Fall 2018. Born and raised in Maryland, Erica holds a BA from Johns Hopkins University, an MFA from Ohio State University, and a PhD from University of Cincinnati. She’s taught workshops and seminars at the Florida Arts Coalition’s Other Words Conference, St. Leo University’s Sandhill Writers Retreat, and the DISQUIET International Literary Program in Lisbon. Erica is the Director of The University of Tampa’s Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing, and, at UT, an associate professor of English and Writing. She lives in Tampa with her Shih-Tzu, Stella, whom she named after Sir Philip Sidney’s Astrophil and Stella, not Tennessee Williams’ Stella or Stella Artois, though Erica really likes Tennessee Williams and Stella Artois.