Sapphire lives and works in New York City, and was born in Fort Ord, California. Her first collection of prose and poetry is American Dreams, published by Serpent's Tail/High Risk Books. Her work has appeared in several anthologies, including High Risk 2: Writings on Sex, Death & Subversion; Critical Condition: Women on the Edge of Violence; and Women on Women: An Anthology of American Lesbian Short Fiction. Sapphire graduated from City College in Harlem with a degree in dance [and a master of fine arts from the writing program at Brooklyn College], where she was the 1994 recipient of the MacArthur Foundation Scholarship in Poetry. Famed in the worlds of literature, literacy, and poetry—and an extraordinary public speaker—Sapphire is the author of two bestselling novels, Push and The Kid. A New York Times bestseller, Push—about an illiterate, brutalized Harlem teenager—won the Book-of-the-Month Club Stephen Crane Award for First Fiction; the Black Caucus of the American Library Association's First Novelist Award; and in Great Britain, the Mind Book of the Year Award. Push was named by The Village Voice as one of the top 25 books of 1996 and by TimeOut New York as one of the top 10 books of 1996. Push was also nominated for an NAACP Image Award in the category of Outstanding Literary Work of Fiction. It was made into the Academy Award-winning film Precious, and the film adaptation received the Academy Awards for Best Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress.