Lee Ann Roripaugh is a biracial Nissei writer. Her fifth volume of poetry, tsunami vs. the fukushima 50 (Milkweed Editions, 2019), was named a “Best Book of 2019” by the New York Public Library, selected as a poetry Finalist in the 2020 Lambda Literary Awards, cited as a Society of Midland Authors 2020 Honoree in Poetry, and was named one of the “50 Must-Read Poetry Collections in 2019” by Book Riot. Her chapbook, “#stringofbeads” was selected as a winner of the Diode Editions Chapbook Contest and was published in March, 2023. She is the author of four other volumes of poetry: Dandarians (Milkweed, Editions, 2014), On the Cusp of a Dangerous Year (Southern Illinois University Press, 2009), Year of the Snake (Southern Illinois University Press, 2004), and Beyond Heart Mountain (Penguin, 1999).
Roripaugh was named winner of the Association of Asian American Studies Book Award in Poetry/Prose for 2004, and a 1998 winner of the National Poetry Series. Her short stories have been shortlisted as stories of note in the Pushcart Prize anthologies, and have appeared in journals such as Hotel Amerika, The Offing, Green Mountains Review, Midway Journal, and Cream City Review, among others. Her essays have appeared in publications such as North American Review, New Ohio Review, Terrain, Sweet Literature, and Sunday Short Reads, and six of them have been shortlisted as essays of note for the Best American Essays anthology.
The South Dakota State Poet Laureate from 2015-2019, Roripaugh is a Professor of English at the University of South Dakota, where she serves as Director of Creative Writing and Editor-in-Chief of South Dakota Review. She is also a faculty mentor for the Carlow University low-residency MFA in Writing, as well as the University of Nebraska low-residency MFA in Writing. Roripaugh was a 2012 Kundiman faculty mentor alongside Li-Young Lee and Srikanth Reddy, and served with Natasha Tretheway and Marilyn Chin as one of the jurors for the 2021 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry. In Spring 2022, she held a one-semester visiting appointment as the Mary Rogers Field and Marion Field-McKenna Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing at DePauw University.