Born in Ukraine (formerly the Soviet Union), Ilya Kaminsky lost most of his hearing as a child. In 1992, at age sixteen, his family moved to the United States as political refugees. His literary influences include Shakespeare (in Russian, translated by Boris Pasternak), Emily Dickinson, Paul Celan, and Wallace Stevens, among others. His poetic style embodies the lyrical, elegy, and narrative, and his work often focuses on life in times of war and political unrest. His third poetry collection is Deaf Republic (Graywolf Press, 2019.) In the late 1990s, he co-founded Poets for Peace, which sponsored poetry readings in support of relief organizations Doctors Without Borders and Survivors International. He is the founding editor of Poets in the World, a series of international poetry translated into English. Kaminsky has received many awards, including Poetry magazine's Levinson Prize. He is the Bourne Chair in Poetry at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta.