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Nicole Greaves, Poet

Nicole Greaves’s poetry has appeared in numerous literary reviews––including SWWIM, Cleaver Magazine, Matter Poetry, American Poetry Review; Philly Edition, Radar Poetry––and was awarded prizes by The Academy of American Poets and the Leeway Foundation of Philadelphia. She was a finalist for the 2020 Frontier Digital Chapbook Contest and a 2015 finalist for the Coniston Prize of Radar Poetry, who also nominated her for The Best of the Net. She was selected by Gregory Orr as the 2003 Poet Laureate of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.

In 2021, Nicole was the guest judge for the InterBoard Poetry Community (IPBC) competition. She has served as a preliminary judge for the Leeway Foundation and Montgomery County Poetry Laureate Contest and curated poetry at The Painted Bride Art Center. Nicole also facilitates workshops, most recently at the Caesura Poetry Festival.


Having Witnessed the Illusion

A finalist for the 2020 Dogfish Head Poetry Contest, her full-length book, Having Witnessed the Illusion, was published

by Glass Lyre Press in the summer of 2022. 

Click here to purchase.

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Nicole Greaves holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia University, an MEd in Special Education from Chestnut Hill College, a Certification in Secondary English Education from Bryn Mawr College, and a BFA in Writing, Literature, and Publishing from Emerson College. In college, she was selected as a first reader for Ploughshares and served on the editorial staff of The Columbia Review while earning her MFA. At Columbia, she was also the recipient of an Academic Fellowship.

Her Work

Nicole’s mother came here from Panama at the age of 17, and together they lived a life in the US that felt peripheral. Much of her work explores themes relating to this feeling, specifically the tensions around acculturation, gender roles, and class. Celebrated poet Lucie Brock-Broido wrote that Nicole's “poems are authentic, subtle political, fairly sure-footed in their understated but shimmering sets & subsets of Politic.” Thesis reader Alice Quinn, former poetry editor for The New Yorker, compared her work to that of a young W.S. Merwin.

 Radar Poetry wrote: 

“Finalist Nicole Greaves draws her narratives with the precision of a fine-tip pen. Each of her six poems contains unforgettable moments in which the poet sees ordinary events through an unexpected lens: ‘a knitted sweater is a series of portholes,’ and a baby grows ‘no larger than a grain of rice / puffed from the heat.’ These poems are detailed, intricate, subtle, with intense attention to craft.”

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Where is She Now?

Nicole resides with her family right outside of Philadelphia, where she teaches English and creative writing at The Crefeld School, tutors and coaches individual students, is the book editor for Ovunque Siamo, and participates in the writing group Scribes. She is also actively writing a chapbook, working on the pre-press production of her forthcoming book, and pursuing a certification as a Reading Specialist at Rosemont College.


Nicole is grateful for all of her teachers and mentors, old and new, who have championed her work and the individuality of her voice.
She believes in the power of community to support individual and collective evolution to heighten art and improve the world itself.

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