Lauren Berry received a BA in Creative Writing from Florida State University and an MFA from the University of Houston where she won the Inprint Verlaine Prize and served as poetry editor for Gulf Coast. From 2009 to 2010, she held the Diane Middlebrook Poetry Fellowship at the Wisconsin Institute. Her work has appeared in magazines such as Agni, Silk Road, The Adroit Journal, Denver Quarterly, and Iron Horse Literary Review. Terrance Hayes selected her first collection, The Lifting Dress (Penguin, 2011), to win the National Poetry Series prize. Her second collection, The Rented Altar, won the C&R Press Award in poetry (C&R Press, 2020) and the 2021 gold medal from the Independent Publisher Book Awards. She teaches AP English Literature at YES Prep Public Schools, a charter school that provides college preparatory education to Houston’s most underserved communities. Additionally, Lauren leads poetry workshops for local non-profits, Inprint and Grackle and Grackle.