Vanessa Angélica Villarreal was born in the Rio Grande Valley to Mexican immigrants. She is the author of the award-winning collection Beast Meridian (Noemi Press, Akrilica Series 2017), recipient of a 2019 Whiting Award, a Kate Tufts Discovery Award nomination, and winner of the John A. Robertson Award for Best First Book of Poetry from the Texas Institute of Letters. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Harpers Bazaar, Oxford American, POETRY, and elsewhere. She is a recipient of a 2021 National Endowment for the Arts Poetry Fellowship, and a doctoral candidate in English Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Southern California, where she is working on a poetry and nonfiction collection while raising her son in Los Angeles. Her essay collection, CHUECA, is forthcoming from Tiny Reparations Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House, in 2023.