Heather Derr-Smith was born in Dallas, Texas, and grew up in Fredericksburg, Virginia. She earned her BA in Art History from the University of Virginia, where she also took creative writing workshops with Rita Dove, Charles Wright, and Greg Orr. She went on to earn her MFA at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Her first book, Each End of the World, poems about the war in Bosnia in the 1990s and chronicles the lives of refugees, most of them women and children who experienced terrible trauma. Her second book is called The Bride Minaret and is about motherhood, identity, and displacement and includes stories from Iraqi and Palestinian refugees in Damascus. She has three children, ages 10, 7, and 5.