Discipline: Literature – poetry

Niki Herd

Discipline: Literature – poetry
Region: St. Louis, MO
MacDowell Fellowships: 2023

Niki Herd is the author of the poetry collection The Language of Shedding Skin, the chapbook, don’t you weep, and co-editor with Meg Day of Laura Hershey: On the Life & Work of an American Master, named one of 2019’s “hidden gems” by Ms. Magazine.

Herd’s essay “George Floyd and the White Gaze” on the death of Floyd and the pandemic was selected as Salon’s Best of 2020. A three-time Pushcart Prize nominee, Herd’s poetry, essays, and criticism, appear in Gulf Coast, New England Review, the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Literature, Copper Nickel, the Academy of American Poets (Poem-a-Day), Lit Hub, The Rumpus, Obsidian, and Tupelo Quarterly, among other journals. Her poems have been anthologized in The Break Beat Poets Volume 2: Black Girl Magic, Resisting Arrest: Poems to Stretch the Sky, and The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South.

Her work has been supported by Ucross, Bread Loaf, the Newberry Library, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and Cave Canem. Herd held a Presidential Fellowship at the University of Houston where she earned her Ph.D. in literature and creative writing. She currently lives in St. Louis where she is a Visiting Writer in Residence in Poetry at Washington University. Her second full-length collection, The Stuff of Hollywood, is forthcoming from Copper Canyon Press spring 2024.

While at MacDowell, Herd began a series of essays that explore the similarities between her role as a daughter and her life as an American citizen.

Portrait by Madeline Brenner



Niki Herd worked in the Mixter studio.

Built in 1927–1930, the Florence Kilpatrick Mixter Studio was funded by its namesake and designed by the architect F. Winsor, Jr., who also designed MacDowell's original Savidge Library in 1925. Mixter Studio, solidly built of yellow and grey-hued granite, once had sweeping views of Pack Monadnock to the east. The lush forest has now grown…

Learn more