Yusef Komunyakaa’s numerous books of poems include Pleasure Dome: New & Collected Poems, 1975-1999; Talking Dirty to the Gods; Thieves of Paradise, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Award; Neon Vernacular: New & Selected Poems 1977-1989, for which he received the Pulitzer Prize and the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award; Magic City; Dien Cai Dau, which won the Dark Room Poetry Prize; I Apologize for the Eyes in My Head, winner of the San Francisco Poetry Center Award; Copacetic; and most recently, The Emperor of Water Clocks. Komunyakaa’s prose is collected in Blue Notes: Essays, Interviews & Commentaries. He also co-edited The Jazz Poetry Anthology and co-translated The Insomnia of Fire by Nguyen Quang Thieu.
His honors include the William Faulkner Prize from the Universite Rennes, the Thomas Forcade Award, the Hanes Poetry Prize, fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the Louisiana Arts Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Bronze Star for his service in Vietnam, where he served as a correspondent and managing editor of the Southern Cross. In 1999, he was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. Yusef Komunyakaa is a senior faculty member in the NYU Creative Writing Program.