Born in 1958, Wayne Koestenbaum attended Harvard University and received an MA from Johns Hopkins University and a PhD from Princeton University. After being named co-winner of the 1989 Discovery/The Nation poetry contest, he published his first collection of poetry, Ode to Anna Moffo and Other Poems (Persea, 1990), which was chosen as one of The Village Voice Literary Supplement's "Favorite Books of 1990."
His other books of poetry are Best Selling Jewish Porn Films (Turtle Point, 2006), Model Homes (BOA Editions, 2004); The Milk of Inquiry (Persea, 1999); and Rhapsodies of A Repeat Offender (Persea, 1994).
About his poetry, David Lehman has said, "Wayne Koestenbaum has been writing poems so dashing and poignant, so sexy and savvy, that itís hard not to like them. He puts wordplay at the service of autobiography, and autobiography at the service of the ceaseless inquiry into the origins of woe, the mysteries of sex, and the dialectic of the brain and crotch."
Koestenbaum is also widely known as a cultural critic for his books on Jackie Kennedy and opera Jackie Under My Skin: Interpreting an Icon (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1995) and The Queen's Throat: Opera, Homosexuality and the Mystery of Desire (Poseidon, 1993), which was nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award. His other books of criticism include Double Talk: The Erotics of Male Literary Collaboration (Routledge, 1989); Cleavage: Essays on Sex, Stars, and Aesthetics (Ballantine Books, 2000); and Andy Warhol (Viking, 2001). His most recent book, Hotel Theory (Soft Skull, 2007), is a hybrid of fiction and nonfiction
He has also published a novel, Moira Orfei in Aigues-Mortes (Soft Skull, 2004) and wrote the libretto for an opera, Jackie O.
Koestenbaum received a Whiting Writer's Award in 1994 and taught in Yale's English department from 1988 to 1996. He has taught painting at the Yale School of Art since 2003 and lives in New York City where he is a Distinguished Professor of English at the CUNY Graduate Center.