Eric Pankey, who received his MFA from the Iowa Writers Workshop in 1983, is the author of many collections of poems: For the New Year (Atheneum 1984), which was selected as the winner of the Walt Whitman Award by Mark Strand, Heartwood (Atheneum 1988), which was reissued by Orchises Press in 1998, Apocrypha (Alfred A. Knopf 1991), The Late Romances (Alfred A. Knopf 1997), Cenotaph (Alfred A. Knopf 2000), Oracle Figures (Ausable Press 2003), Reliquaries (Ausable Press 2005), The Pear as One Example: New and Selected Poems (Ausable Press 2008), Trace (Milkweed Editions 2013), Dismantling the Angel (Free Verse Editions 2013), which won the New Measures Prize, Crow-Work (Milkweed Editions 2015), Augury (Milkweed Editions 2017), Owl of Minerva (Milkweed Editions 2019), Alias: Prose Poems (Free Verse Editions 2020), Not Yet Transfigured (Orison Books 2021). A collection of essays, Vestiges: Notes, Responses, & Essays 1988-2018 appeared from Parlor Press in 2019.
His poetry, essays, and reviews have appeared widely in such journals as The Iowa Review, The Harvard Review, The Kenyon Review,The New Yorker, The New Republic, The New Yorker, and The Yale Review. His work has been supported by fellowships from John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, The National Endowment for the Arts, the Ingram Merrill Foundation, and the Brown Foundation.
He teaches poetry workshops and courses on modern and contemporary poetry. He is Professor of English and the Heritage Chair in Writing at George Mason University. He lives with his wife, the poet Jennifer Atkinson, in Fairfax, Virginia.