Poet and teacher John Murillo grew up in Los Angeles, the son of a Black father and Mexican mother. He is a graduate of Howard University and received his MFA from New York University. Up Jump the Boogie (Cypher Books, 2010), his debut full-length, was a finalist for the Kate Tufts Discovery Award and the PEN Open Book Award. His collection Kontemporary Amerikan Poetry (Four Way Books, 2020), a meditation on racism and institutional violence in America and their personal consequences, is currently longlisted for the 2021 PEN/Voelcker Awards.
Murillo has been awarded fellowships from the NEA, Bread Loaf, the Fine Arts Work Center, Cave Canem, MacDowell, and the New York Foundation for the Arts. He has also won two Pushcart Prizes, two Larry Neal Writers Awards, and the Poetry Foundation’s J. Howard and Barbara M. J. Wood Prize. His poetry has appeared in American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, Poetry, and Prairie Schooner, as well as Best American Poetry 2017, 2019, and 2020 and Angles of Ascent: A Norton Anthology of African American Poetry. Murillo is an assistant professor of English at Wesleyan University and teaches at Sierra Nevada College’s low-residency MFA program. He is married to the poet Nicole Sealey and lives in Brooklyn, New York.