Ilya Kaminsky was born in Odessa, former Soviet Union in 1977, and arrived to the United States in 1993, when his family was granted asylum by the American government.
Ilya is the author of Dancing In Odessa (Tupelo Press, 2004) which won the Whiting Writer’s Award, the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Metcalf Award, the Dorset Prize, the Ruth Lilly Fellowship given annually by Poetry magazine. Dancing In Odessa was also named Best Poetry Book of the Year 2004 by ForeWord Magazine. In 2008, Kaminsky was awarded Lannan Foundation’s Literary Fellowship. In addition, Ilya writes poetry in Russian. Ilya has read from his work and served as a Writer In Residence at numerous literary centres, colleges and universities, from Harvard to Naropa. In late 1990s, he co-founded Poets for Peace, an organization which sponsors poetry readings in the United States and abroad.
Currently, he teaches Contemporary World Poetry, Creative Writing, and Literary Translation in the Master of Fine Arts Program in Creative Writing at San Diego State University.