Rachel Vigil performed MFA studies in Creative Writing and Poetics at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado. Her work has been published in War, Literature, & the Arts; The Common Review; Poem; Blue Line; The Inkwell; Combat; Copper Nickel and many others. She received the Amy Gruneberger Memorial Poetry Award in 2005 and was a finalist in the Cleveland State University First Book Contest in 2006.
Vigil joined the Army at age 25, in 1998, signing under the condition that she could learn Arabic. She served in Operation Bright Star in Egypt immediately after September 11, 2001. She worked as an Arabic linguist and voice interceptor for the Army Intelligence Corps. Vigil planned to leave the military in 2002 at the end of her four years, but Arabic linguists were stop-lossed after September 11, 2001 and her service was extended another two years. She reports that having security clearance changed her perspective on many things. She was a “card-carrying young Republican” when she entered the service, and an active Democrat when she left.