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Nicole Cooley grew up in New Orleans, Louisiana. Her new book of poems, Breach, about Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath, will be published by Louisiana State University Press in March 2010. Her first book of poetry, Resurrection, won the 1995 Walt Whitman Award and was published by LSU Press in 1996. Her second book of poetry, The Afflicted Girls, about the Salem witch trials of 1692, came out with LSU Press in April 2004 and was chosen as one of the best poetry books of the year by Library Journal. She also published a novel Judy Garland, Ginger Love, with Regan Books/Harper Collins (1998). She has received a Discovery/The Nation Award, a National Endowment for the Arts Grant and the Emily Dickinson Award from the Poetry Society of America.
Her poems have appeared in The Nation, Poetry, Missouri Review, Pleaides, and Mississippi Review, among other magazines. She is an associate professor of English and Creative Writing at Queens College—City University of New York where she directs the new MFA program in creative writing and literary translation.