Born in Germany in 1973, Matthea Harvey spent the first eight years of her life in Marnhull, England, before moving with her family to Milwaukee in 1981. Later, she earned her BA in Literature at Harvard University and an MFA at Iowa Writers' Workshop.
Harvey is the author of Pity the Bathtub Its Forced Embrace of the Human Form (Alice James Books, 2000), Sad Little Breathing Machine (Graywolf, 2004), and Modern Life (2007), which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, a New York Times Notable Book of 2008, and the winner of the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. She is also the author of the children's book The Little General and the Giant Snowflake (Tin House Books, 2009) and Of Lamb, a collaboration with artist Amy Jean Porter (McSweeney's, 2011).
Poet Dean Young has called Harvey's poems "marvelous contraptions .. that explore and present artifices in the best sense, as disclosures of fabrication into plays of significance…and [are] always ravishingly complex." Jorie Graham describes Harvey's work as "generous, urgent and savingly committed to beauty."
Harvey is a contributing editor at jubilat and BOMB Magazine and has taught at the Iowa Writers' Workshop, Warren Wilson College, the Pratt Institute, and the University of Houston. She currently lives in Brooklyn, New York and teaches at Sarah Lawrence College.