Kanika Agrawal is a hybrid specimen raised in six countries on four continents. She studied biology at MIT, where she came to love restriction enzymes and fluorescent labeling. She earned an MFA in Writing from Columbia University and a PhD in English/Creative Writing from the University of Denver, and she taught academic and creative writing at both institutions. She has also worked as a researcher, editor, writing consultant, speechwriter and ghostwriter. Her work appears or is forthcoming in Best American Experimental Writing 2020, Black Warrior Review, Foglifter, FOLDER, Notre Dame Review, and various SF&F publications. She has received support from the MacDowell Colony and Vermont Studio Center to revise and expand her manuscript Okazaki Fragments. A chapbook of Okazaki fragments will be published in Spring 2020 by Oversound.

Awards and Recognition

  • Fellowship, 2020 Spring Residency, Vermont Studio Center
  • Fellowship, 2019 Fall Residency, The MacDowell Colony
  • Finalist, 2019 Eliza So Finish-Your-Book Fellowship, Submittable
  • Finalist, 2019 BOAAT Book Prize, BOAAT Press
  • Finalist, 2019 First Book Poetry Competition, Cleveland State University Poetry Center
  • Finalist, 2019 Gaudy Boy Poetry Book Prize, Singapore Unbound
  • Semifinalist, 2019 Berkshire Prize, Tupelo Press
  • Winner, 2018 Oversound Chapbook Prize (Judge: Solmaz Sharif), Oversound
  • Winner, 2018 Flash Contest (Judge: Jennifer S. Cheng), Black Warrior Review
  • Runner-up, 2018 Poetry Contest (Judge: Vanessa AngĂ©lica Villarreal), Black Warrior Review
  • Poetry Fellow, 2019 Lit Fest Fellowship for Emerging Writers (Judge: Bhanu Kapil), Lighthouse Writers Workshop
  • Winner (Fiction), 2019 Boulder Short Short Contest, Writing By Writers
  • Semifinalist, 2019 Snowbound Chapbook Award, Tupelo Press