Becky Byrkit tended bar at the Mountainairre Tavern near Flagstaff for many years, before receiving her MFA at the University of Arizona in 1992. She and friends founded Among Other Things Inc., Tucson’s longest-running literary arts series that brought hundreds of artists and their audiences together.
Becky protested traditional writer’s workshop formats by developing the Poets’ Voice and Range Workshop, sponsored by the UA Poetry Center, for writers experiencing passionate issues in their relationship to literature. She was an Associated Writers’ Program INTRO award winner in 1992, and received fellowships and honors from the Arizona Commission on the Arts, the Tucson Community Foundation, and New Letters in American Writing.
In addition to being chosen by A. R. Ammons to appear in Best American Poetry, she won the Sonora Review Prize in Poetry, both in 1994. She is anthologized in a volume published by the University of Arizona Press on southwestern poets, as well as an anthology of influential American women contemporary poets, edited by Nancy Johnson, 1996. Her poems have appeared widley in journals, including Ploughshares, Black Warrior Review, Phoebe, Exquisite Corpse, New England Review, and many others. Her first book, zealand, was nominated by SUN/gemini Press for the Western States Book Award in 1995; in the same year Becky received a Pushcart Prize nomination for six poems.