Patricia Lockwood (born April 27, 1982) is an American poet. She has published two poetry collections and is notable for her trans-genre poetics, including her series of Twitter "sexts" and the prose poem "Rape Joke."
Lockwood was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Her father, a Naval seaman serving on a nuclear submarine in the Cold War, had a conversion experience after watching The Exorcist and became a married Catholic priest. Lockwood grew up in St. Louis, Missouri and Cincinnati, Ohio, attending parochial schools there, but never went to college.
"She married at 21, has scarcely ever held a job and, by her telling, seems to have spent her adult life in a Proustian attitude, writing for hours each day from her 'desk-bed,'" according to a profile in The New York Times Magazine. During that period, from 2004 to 2011, Lockwood's poems began to appear widely in magazines including The New Yorker, Poetry, and the London Review of Books.
In 2011, Lockwood joined Twitter.
In 2012, small press Octopus Books published Lockwood's first poetry collection, Balloon Pop Outlaw Black. The Chicago Tribune praised the work for its "savage intelligence." The collection was included in end-of-year lists by The New Yorker and Pitchfork and became one of the best-selling indie poetry titles of all time. Its iconic cover features original artwork by cartoonist Lisa Hanawalt.
In 2014, Penguin Books published Lockwood's second poetry collection, Motherland Fatherland Homelandsexuals. The book's cover features more original artwork by Hanawalt. The New York Times critic Dwight Garner praised the book for its "indelible, dreamlike details." Stephen Burt, writing for The New York Times Book Review, lauded it as "at once angrier, and more fun, more attuned to our time and more bizarre, than most poetry can ever get." The Stranger dubbed Motherland Fatherland Homelandsexuals "the first true book of poetry to be published in the 21st century." Rolling Stone included Lockwood and the book on its 2014 Hot List, and the New York Times named it a Notable Book.
Riverhead Books has announced it will publish a memoir by Lockwood in 2016.