Paul Tran’s poems unites language, sound + image with a tender + unflinching voice.

Khadijah Queen

Taken by Emily Yoon

Taken by Emily Yoon


Paul Tran is the recipient of a Ruth Lilly & Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship from Poetry Magazine & the Poetry Foundation and a “Discovery”/Boston Review Poetry Prize. Their work appears in The New Yorker, Poetry Magazine, Good Morning America, NYLON, and elsewhere, including the RZA-directed movie Love Beats Rhymes (Lionsgate) alongside Azealia Banks, Common, and Jill Scott.

They earned a B.A. in twentieth century United States history from Brown University and an M.F.A. in poetry from Washington University in St. Louis, where they won the Howard Nemerov Prize, Dorothy Negri Prize, and Norma Lowry Memorial Award. As the Chancellor’s Graduate Fellow and Senior Poetry Fellow in The Writing Program, Paul has taught the introduction to poetry and intermediate poetry undergraduate workshops.

Since 2013, Paul has coached the poetry slam teams at Brown University, Barnard College & Columbia University, and Washington University in St. Louis. Paul was the first Asian American since 1993—and first transgender poet ever—to win the Nuyorican Poets Cafe Grand Slam, placing top 10 at the Individual World Poetry Slam and top 2 at the National Poetry Slam. A two-time winner of the Rustbelt Poetry Slam, Paul has served as Poet-in-Residence at Urban Word NYC and head poetry slam coach at Urban Arts Alliance in St. Louis, which won the Brave New Voices Grand Slam Championship in 2019.

For their writing and teaching, Paul has received scholarships, residencies, and fellowships from Kundiman, Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation, Poets House, Lambda Literary Foundation, Napa Valley Writers Conference, The Home School, Vermont Studio Center, The Conversation Literary Festival, Palm Beach Poetry Festival, Miami Writers Institute, Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Lighthouse Writers Workshop, the Eliza So Fellowship (from Submittable, Plympton, and the Writer’s Block), and Bread Loaf Writers Conference.

Paul is Poetry Editor at The Offing Magazine, which won a Whiting Literary Magazine Prize from the Whiting Foundation.