Born in New Delhi, India and raised in Falls Church, Virginia, Vandana Khanna earned her B.A. from the University of Virginia and her MFA from Indiana University, where she was the recipient of the Yellen Fellowship in poetry. She is the author of two full length collections: Train to Agra and Afternoon Masala, as well as the chapbook, The Goddess Monologues. Her poems have won the Crab Orchard Review First Book Prize, The Miller Williams Arkansas Poetry Prize, the Diode Editions Chapbook Competition, the Elinor Benedict Poetry Prize and has been nominated for five Pushcart Prizes. Her work has been published widely in journals and anthologies such as the New England Review, The Missouri Review, Raising Lilly Ledbetter: Women Poets Occupy the Workspace, Asian American Poetry: The Next Generation, and Indivisible: An Anthology of Contemporary South Asian American Poetry. She has taught English and Creative Writing at colleges and universities across the country including Indiana University, Pitzer College, Whittier College and the University of Southern California and serves as the co-poetry editor of the Los Angeles Review.
"Vandana Khanna’s work reminds me why we read poetry. These poems in the voices of Hindu goddesses speak with authority and clarity to what it means to be human, to our desires and our disappointments, to the multiple deaths and rebirths we experience in a lifetime."
"The imaginative language and elegant lines found in the poems of The Goddess Monologues propel the reader to carefully and fully examine their own thumping hearts. Behind these beautiful and tightly controlled personas, Khanna deftly steers us through a rich landscape where the voiceless can finally be heard '…raw and rustling like sugar cane,' and where the night fills 'with the tight snap of bow, the hollow whistle of arrows on fire.'"