Eugenia Leigh


Eugenia Leigh grew up in the suburbs of Chicago in a Korean American Christian household. In middle school, her family moved to California, and an English teacher assigned Leigh’s class to choose a poet and recite a poem from memory. She randomly chose Anne Sexton and was electrified by the experience of reading Sexton’s poem “Red Roses” to the class. After discovering confessional poetry, Leigh incorporated poetry into her teenage life as a coping mechanism and survival tool. Diagnosed with bipolar II disorder and complex PTSD, Leigh writes poems that are invested in the intersection of Korean American intergenerational trauma and mental illness. Leigh received her MFA from Sarah Lawrence College, during which she hosted writing workshops with incarcerated youths and Brooklyn high school students. Her first collection, Blood, Sparrows and Sparrows, was published by Four Way Books in 2014 and won the Late Night Library’s 2015 Debut-litzer Prize in Poetry. She was awarded POETRY’s Bess Hokin Prize in 2021 and her second book, Bianca, is forthcoming in 2023, also from Four Way Books. Today, Leigh lives in New York City and serves as a poetry editor for The Adroit Journal