Emily Warn was born in San Francisco and moved at the age of seven from the then Bohemian neighborhood in Marin, California to the Orthodox Jewish community in Detroit. For Warn, poetry links music and meaning every bit as powerfully and oddly as religious traditions do, inventing complicated, invisible relations. She moved to the Pacific Northwest 1978 to work for North Cascades National Park, and a year later moved to Seattle where she has lived, more or less ever since. She most recently served as the Webby Award–winning founding editor of poetryfoundation.org, and now divides her time between Seattle and Twisp, Washington.
Warn has published five collections of poetry, including three books: The Leaf Path (1982), The Novice Insomniac (1996) and Shadow Architect (2008), all from Copper Canyon Press, and two chapbooks The Book of Esther (1986) and Highway Suite (1987). Her essays and poems appear widely, including in Poetry, BookForum, Blackbird, Parabola, The Seattle Times, The Writers’ Almanac, The Bloomsbury Review, The Stranger, and Critical Mass–the National Book Critics Circle blog.
She has taught creative writing or served as writer-in-residence at many schools and arts centers, including Lynchburg College in Virginia, The Bush School in Seattle, Sun Valley Center for the Arts, Centrum Foundation in Port Townsend, and Wurlitzer Foundation in Taos, New Mexico. She was educated at Kalamazoo College and the University of Washington, and was a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University. She is currently taking a year off from teaching and working to write.
Emily has also worked in the high-technology, first at Microsoft where she was a Group Programming Manager for Microsoft.com, and later as web consultant, working for amazon.com, The Methow Conservancy, and Farming and the Environment.