Meena Alexander was born in Allahabad, India and grew up there and in the Sudan. At the age of eighteen she traveled to England to study, returning afterward to India. She lives and works in New York City, where she is Distinguished Professor of English at Hunter College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York. Her six volumes of poetry include Illiterate Heart, which won the PEN Open Book Award; Raw Silk; and Quickly Changing River. Her autobiography, Fault Lines, chosen as one of Publishers Weekly's Best Books of 1993, appears in an expanded post 9/11 edition. She is the editor of Indian Love Poems and author of two novels, two academic studies and a book of poems, and essays entitled The Shock of Arrival: Reflections on Postcolonial Experience. She is the recipient of Guggenheim, Fulbright, Rockefeller, NEH, Arts Council of England, and other fellowships.