Sasha Pimentel

Photo by Jorge Salgado.


Born in Manila and raised in the U.S. and Saudi Arabia, Sasha Pimentel is a Filipina poet and author of For Want of Water (Beacon Press, 2017), selected by Gregory Pardlo as a winner of the 2016 National Poetry Series, longlisted for the 2018 PEN America Open Book Award, and Insides She Swallowed (West End Press, 2010), winner of the 2011 American Book Award. A finalist for the 2015 Rome Prize in Literature (American Academy of Arts and Letters), her work has been featured in New York Times Magazine, PBS NewsHour online, Poets & WritersAmerican Poetry Review, LitHubGuernica, New England Review and Crazyhorse, among others.

Winner of the 2015 University of Texas System’s Board of Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award, Sasha teaches contemporary American poetry, poetry writing and creative nonfiction writing, with research foci on Asian American, Black, Jewish American, and Latin American poetics at the University of Texas at El Paso. She's an Associate Professor in a bilingual (Spanish-English) MFA Program to writers from across the Americas in the Department of Creative Writing, and serves as affiliated faculty in the Chican@ Studies Program.

Sasha holds an MFA in Creative Writing from California State University, Fresno.

She lives in El Paso, Texas with her husband, the historian Michael Topp, on the border of Ciudad Juárez, México.

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  • Reading and Writing Poetry
  • Advanced Poetry Writing
  • Jewish American Poetry (co-taught with Ezra Cappell, University of Texas at El Paso)
  • Studies of Tension and Momentum in Class and Form in the Works of Truman Capote and Philip Levine
  • The Harlem Renaissance as Root and Flower


  • "Women, War and the Unsayable"
  • "Acts of Resistance: Poetry in Line and War" 


  • "Edward Hirsch’s Gabriel and the Weight of Elegiac Song"
  • "The Mercy: Our Long Autumn Journey After Philip Levine"
  • "Our Bodies at Work: Women, Trauma and the Liminal Spaces of Body and Border"
  • "Philip Levine’s Poems of Chalk: Renderings of Resistance, Effacement and Exile"