Illustration by Tina Berning
Katy Lederer is the author of the poetry collections Winter Sex (Verse) and The Heaven-Sent Leaf (BOA Editions), as well as the memoir Poker Face: A Girlhood Among Gamblers (Crown), which was a New York Times Book Review "Editor's Choice" and one of Esquire's eight "Best Books of the Year." She has been featured in The New Yorker's "Talk of the Town," the New York Times's DealBook section, and on NPR's Marketplace and To The Best of Our Knowledge, among other venues.
Educated at the University of California at Berkeley, from which she graduated summa cum laude, and the Iowa Writers' Workshop, where she was an Iowa Arts Fellow, her honors and awards include fellowships from Yaddo, MacDowell, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and a Discover Great New Writers citation from Barnes & Noble's Discover Great New Writers Program. Her poetry, essays, and reviews have been published in a diverse array of magazines including The Paris Review, The Enemy, The American Poetry Review, A Public Space, and Poetry London.
In her writing, work, and activism, Lederer focuses on the intersection between feeling and analysis, passion and data, and excess and traditional form. For twelve years she worked in quantitative finance, first at a hedge fund in midtown Manhattan and then as CEO of Intelligent Alternatives, a technical headhunting firm that she founded. She has also worked as a teacher, anthropological researcher, assistant to the late psychoanalyst Dr. Arnold Cooper, and semi-professional poker player. She counts among her primary influences the works of Edith Wharton, John Kenneth Galbraith, Lyn Hejinian, Georges Bataille, Susan Sontag, Sylvia Plath, Octavia Butler, Michel Houellebecq, and Rebecca Solnitthese are the authors she can't get enough of.
Currently, Lederer is at work on a collection of essays around apocalyptic themes, a collection of poetry titled The Engineers on the topics of genetics, autoimmunity, deformity, and motherhood, and a book-length science fictional sonnet sequence titled Polar Bodies that takes place inside the sun. She can be reached at .