Belieu was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska, graduating from Central High School. She attended Boston University, and Ohio State University receiving advanced degrees in the area of poetry. She previously taught at Washington University, Boston University, Kenyon College, and Ohio University. She now teaches in the highly ranked MFA/Ph.D. Creative Writing Program at Florida State University.
Her work has appeared in places such as The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, Slate, Nerve, The Yale Review, TriQuarterly, Ploughshares, The New York Times, Tin House, and The Virginia Quarterly Review. Her poetry collections include Infanta, One Above & One Below, Black Box and Slant Six. She has served as managing editor of AGNI.
In August 2009, Belieu cofounded the national feminist organization VIDA: Women In Literary Arts, notable for its influential annual survey of the rates of publication between male and female authors. This survey is known as The Count. VIDA's much publicized Count has been highly influential in addressing sweeping gender bias in contemporary American literary publishing. Belieu now serves as VIDA's co director, along with notable American poet Cate Marvin.
Awards and honors
- 1994 National Poetry Series, for Infanta, selected by Hayden Carruth
- chosen for the Rona Jaffe Fellowship
- Ohioana Award
- Society of Midland Authors Award
- invited to read at the Library of Congress by former Poet Laureate Robert Pinksy
- 2007 finalist for the Los Angeles Times book award in poetry for Black Box
- "For Catherine: Juana, Infanta of Navarre", AGNI 56, 2002
- "The Last Of The Gentlemen Heartbreakers"; "In Ecstasy"; "Of The Poet’s Youth", Reading Between A&B, Fall 2007
- "Two Weeks On The Island", electronic poetry review
- "The Birthmark", Ploughshares, Spring 2003
- Infanta. Copper Canyon Press. 1995. ISBN 978-1-55659-101-3.
- One Above and One Below. Copper Canyon Press. 2000. ISBN 978-1-55659-144-0.
- Black Box. Copper Canyon Press. 2006. ISBN 978-1-55659-251-5.
- Slant Six. Copper Canyon Press. 2014. ISBN 978-1-55659-471-7.
Selected anthology publications include:
- The Best American Poetry, 2011 editors Kevin Young, David Lehman
- Rita Dove, David Lehman, eds. (2000). The Best American poetry, 2000. Scribner. ISBN 978-0-684-84281-3.
- Michael Collier, ed. (2000). "Radio Nebraska". The new American poets. UPNE. ISBN 978-0-87451-964-8.
- Glennis Byron, Andrew J. Sneddon, eds. (2008). "Tick". The body and the book: writings on poetry and sexuality. Rodopi. ISBN 978-90-420-2422-9.
- William J. Walsh, ed. (2006). Under the rock umbrella: contemporary American poets, 1951-1977. Mercer University Press. ISBN 978-0-88146-047-6.
- Susan Aizenberg, Erin Belieu, Jeremy Countryman, eds. (2001). The Extraordinary Tide: New Poetry by American Women. Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0-231-11963-4.