Robin Lewis

Professor of English


Robin Coste Lewis is the poet laureate of Los Angeles. In 2015, her debut poetry collection, Voyage of the Sable Venus (Knopf) won the National Book Award in poetry. Voyage of the Sable Venus was also a finalist for LA Times Book Prize, the Hurston-Wright Award, and the California Book Award. In 2018, MoMA commissioned both Lewis and Kevin Young to write a series of poems to accompany Robert Rauschenberg’s drawings in Thirty-Four Illustrations of Dante’s Inferno (MoMA, 2018). Lewis’s writing has appeared in various journals and anthologies, such as Time Magazine, The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Paris Review, Transition, and Best American PoetryLewis received her BA from Hampshire College in creative writing and comparative literature; an MTS degree in Sanskrit and comparative religious literature from the Divinity School at Harvard University; an MFA in poetry at New York University; and a PhD from the University of Southern Creative Writing and Literature Program, where she was a Provost’s Fellow in poetry and visual studies. Other fellowships and awards include those from the Cave Canem Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the Guggenheim Foundation.



  • BA , Hampshire College, 5/1989
  • M.T.S. , Harvard University Divinity School
  • MFA , New York University
  • Ph.D. , University of Southern California