Powell was born in Albany, Georgia. He lived in various places growing up, then graduated high school from Lindhurst High School in Linda, California. He then worked in a number of jobs before eventually settling in Santa Rosa, California, where he attended Sonoma State University. He earned a bachelor's degree in 1991 and a master's in 1993. Not long after completing his graduate work at Sonoma State, he entered the presitigious Iowa Writer's Workshop at the University of Iowa. In 1996, he graduated from Iowa and began a career as a poet and university professor. Powell has taught at a number of different universities, including Columbia University, Sonoma State University, San Francisco State University, and Harvard University, where he served as the Briggs-Copeland Lecturer in Poetry. In 2004, Powell left Harvard for The University of San Francisco, where he teaches in the English department.
Powell's publications include Tea (Wesleyan, 1998); Lunch (Wesleyan, 2000); and Cocktails (Graywolf Press, 2004). Powell is at work on a fourth collection to be published by Graywolf.
Secret hideaways of love; The latest poetry collection by the winner of the 2010 Kingsley Tufts Award.(VARIETY)
Apr 15, 2012; Byline: JOHN FREEMAN Special to the Star Tribune Choked by sweltering summers, the heavy stink of manure and orchards that go on...