Rachel Eliza Griffiths is a poet and photographer. She received the MFA in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College. A Cave Canem and Kimbilio Fellow, she is the recipient of fellowships including Yaddo, Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, Cave Canem Foundation, Vermont Studio Center, The Millay Colony, and others. In 2011, Griffiths appeared in the first ever poetry issue in Oprah’s O Magazine.
Her literary and visual work has been widely published in journals, magazines, anthologies, and periodicals including Callaloo, Poets & Writers, The New York Times, American Poetry Review, Los Angeles Review of Books, Guernica, The Writer’s Chronicle, Transition, American Poet, Mosaic, Indiana Review, Ecotone, Puerto Del Sol, Crab Orchard Review, RATTLE, Brilliant Corners, Kweli Journal, PMS: poem memoir story, The Drunken Boat, Salt Hill Journal, THRUSH, Folio, Hambone, Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry, and many others.
She is widely known for her literary portraits, fine art photography, and lyric videos. Griffiths recently completed her first extensive video project, P.O.P (Poets on Poetry), an intimate series of micro-interviews, which gathers nearly 100 contemporary poets in conversation, is featured online at the Academy of American Poets’ website. Recently, Griffiths was selected by the Poetry Society of America to curate the Poetry Walk, featuring the poetry of Octavio Paz, for the New York Botanical Garden's exhibit, Frida Kahlo: Art Garden Life.
Griffiths is the author of Miracle Arrhythmia (Willow Books 2010) and The Requited Distance (The Sheep Meadow Press 2011). Griffiths’ third collection of poetry, Mule & Pear (New Issues Poetry & Prose 2011), was selected for the 2012 Inaugural Poetry Award by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. Her most recent full-length poetry collection is Lighting the Shadow (Four Way Books 2015), which was a finalist for the 2015 Balcones Poetry Prize and the 2016 Phillis Wheatley Book Award in Poetry.
Currently, Griffiths teaches creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College and IAIA (Institute of American Indian Arts). She lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Photo Credit: Marion Ettlinger