Adrian Matekja grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana, and is a graduate of the MFA program at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. He is the author of The Devil’s Garden (Alice James Books, 2003) which won theNew York / New England Award and Mixology (Penguin, 2009), a winner of the 2008 National Poetry Series. His third collection of poems, The Big Smoke (Penguin, 2013), focuses on Jack Johnson, the first Black heavyweight champion of the world. The Big Smoke was awarded the 2014 Anisfield-Wolf BookAward and was a finalist for the 2013 National Book Award, 2014 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, and 2014 Pulitzer Prize in poetry. His fourth collection, Map to the Stars, was published by Penguin in 2017. His mixed media collection inspired by Funkadelic, Standing on the Verge & Maggot Brain (Third Man Books), and a collection of poems Somebody Else Sold the World (Penguin) are forthcoming in 2021. His first graphic novel Last On His Feet will be published in 2022 by Liveright. Among Matejka’s other honors are the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Award and fellowships from the Academy of American Poets, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Lannan Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, and a Simon Fellowship from United States Artists. He is the Ruth Lilly Professor of Poetry at Indiana University Bloomington and served as Poet Laureate of the state of Indiana in 2018-19.