Robert Fernandez was born in Hartford, grew up in Miami, and now lives in Nebraska. He's the author of Pink Reef (2013) and We Are Pharaoh (2011), both published by Canarium Books, as well as Scarecrow (Wesleyan University Press, 2016). His poems have appeared in Boston Review, Conjunctions, Volt, The Canary, American Letters & Commentary, and elsewhere. He was selected as a New American Poet by the Poetry Society of America, and he is the recipient of a Gertrude Stein Award for Innovative Poetry and a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
"Pink Reef, in its unique way, participates in the mystical tradition, but not by transcending the body or merging with the cosmos. Instead, like the poems of Thomas Traherne, Fernandez’s is a visionary poetry in which consciousness dives so profoundly into the body that even the boundaries of identity begin to dissolve" —Paul Scott Stanfield, Ploughshares
“In the tragic recognition–(or barbaric imperial yawp?)–of its title, We Are Pharaoh refuses to disavow the poet’s imbrication within the collective nightmare of modernity. Here, Fernandez uncovers the terrible beauty and truth of our first-person plural condition: ‘the voice stark, near-black, mutely blue, a Portland Vase across which cameo jackals tangle.’ This startling work turns a new page on the poetry of our historical moment.” —Srikanth Reddy
“We Are Pharaoh is a luscious saturnalia of language, adapting New York School painterliness to an erotic tropical sensibility: ‘A mandrill clutching the throat in the billiard hall of Pele.’ Its magic raises the pulse.” —Ange Mlinko
“Robert Fernandez writes the poetry of a lavish daytime, the record of an inexhaustible world. How generative the gathering of ideas, the assembly of blessings in the form of a visible ‘train from Sharm el-Sheikh,’ where the air gives to each thing an exact place, a name-rhythm, but only for the moment, because myriad possibilities exist to recall." —Mark McMorris
"Fernandez conjures the entire history of lyric poetry and manipulates its potency to address the vastness and confusion of our age." —Vanessa Villarreal, Colorado Review