Kaminsky was born in Odessa, former USSR, and arrived in the United States in 1993 when his family was granted asylum. He is the author of “Dancing in Odessa” (Tupelo Press), “Deaf Republic” (forthcoming from Graywolf) and several other books, including “Dark Elderberry Branch: Poems of Marina Tsvetaeva,” which he co-translated with Jean Valentine (Alice James Books). He has edited many collections of poems and essays, including “Ecco Anthology of International Poetry” (Harper Collins) ,which has been called “a modern classic.”
In 2018, Kaminsky was awarded the prestigious John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship in Poetry. His poems have been translated into numerous languages around the globe and his books have been published in Turkey, Netherlands, Russia, France, Mexico, Macedonia, Romania, Spain, and China, where his poetry was awarded the Yinchuan International Poetry Prize.
His other awards include the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Metcalf Award, The Whiting Writers Award, Ruth Lilly Fellowship, Poetry magazine’s Levinson Prize, Pushcart Prize, and others. Recently, he was on the shortlist for the Neusdadt International Literature Prize. His essays appear in publications such as The New York Times, The Guardian (UK), and Boston Review.
He has previously served as the director of the Harriet Monroe Poetry Institute at Poetry Foundation, and as a professor of English and comparative literature at San Diego State University. He is an award-winning teacher who is committed to building STEAM—integrating the arts into the STEM fields.