Jay Gao is a poet from Edinburgh, Scotland. His debut poetry collection Imperium (Carcanet Press, 2022) is a winner of an Eric Gregory Award and a Somerset Maugham Award. His writing has received support from Bread Loaf, Tin House, Civitella Ranieri, Community of Writers, and he earned his MFA in Literary Arts (Poetry) from Brown University. He is a reader for Poetry magazine and a Contributing Editor at The White Review. Currently, he lives in New York and is a PhD student in English at Columbia University where he studies experimental poetics, form, and race.
He is also the author of three poetry pamphlets: TRAVESTY58 (2022); Katabasis (2020), a winner of a New Poets Prize; and Wedding Beasts (2019), shortlisted for the Saltire-Calum MacDonald Award. He is a winner of the 2022 Desperate Literature Prize for Short Fiction, the 2021 London Magazine Poetry Prize, and was shortlisted for the 2022 Edwin Morgan Poetry Award and the 2023 Michael Murphy Prize. He was also a co-founder of the Scottish BPOC Writers Network, a former reviewer for the Poetry Foundation, and a mentor for the Ledbury Emerging Poetry Critics Programme. He is represented by Matthew Turner at Rogers, Coleridge & White.