Sasha Pimentel is the author of two collections of poetry: For Want of Water (2017, Beacon Press), winner of the National Poetry Series (selected by Gregory Pardlo), winner of the Helen C. Smith Award, and longlisted for the PEN/Open Book Award; and Insides She Swallowed (2010, West End), winner of the American Book Award. She has published poems and essays in The New York Times, PBS News Hour, ESPN, The American Poetry Review, New England Review, and Literary Hub, and other literary publications. In 2015, Pimentel was chosen by U.S. Poet Laureates Charles Wright, Philip Levine and Mark Strand as a finalist for the Rome fellowship (Academy of Arts and Letters). She is the 2018-2019 Picador Guest Professor in Literature at Institut für Amerikanistik at Universität Leipzig in Germany.
Born in Manila, Philippines and raised in the United States and Saudi Arabia, Pimentel is an Associate Professor in the bilingual Department of Creative Writing, and associated faculty in the [Chicanx] Studies Program, at the University of Texas at El Paso.
Winner of the University of Texas System’s Board of Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award, Pimentel teaches contemporary poetry, poetry writing and creative nonfiction writing, with research foci on the poetics of immigration, ethnicity, gender, class and migration.
She lives (more permanently) in El Paso, Texas with her husband, the historian Michael Topp, on the border of Ciudad Juárez, México.