Maxine Scates was born in Los Angeles and grew up in a working class housing tract a mile from LAX. She worked her way through college, graduating from California State University, Northridge, where she took classes from and was encouraged by the poet Ann Stanford. After graduation she moved to Eugene, Oregon where she earned an MFA from the University of Oregon.
Her fourth collection of poetry, My Wilderness, was published by the University of Pittsburgh Press in October 2021. She is the author of three previous collections of poetry: Undone (New Issues), which was a finalist for the Green Rose Prize; Black Loam (Cherry Grove Collections), which received the Lyre Prize and was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award; and Toluca Street (University of Pittsburgh Press), which received the Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize and the Oregon Book Award for Poetry. She is the co-editor, with David Trinidad, of Holding Our Own: The Selected Poems of Ann Stanford (Copper Canyon).
Her poems have been widely published throughout the country in such journals as AGNI, Alaska Quarterly Review, The American Poetry Review, Ironwood, Cave Wall, Copper Nickel, Court Green, Crab Orchard Review, Hubbub, The Iowa Review, The Massachusetts Review, The New England Review, The New Yorker, Ploughshares, Plume, Prairie Schooner, Poetry and The Virginia Quarterly Review and have received, among other awards, the Vern Rutsala Award from Hubbub and two Pushcart Prizes. She has received fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, Caldera, Literary Arts and the Oregon Arts Commission.
A former Poetry Editor of Northwest Review, she taught poetry at Lane Community College, Lewis and Clark College, and Reed College. Currently, she teaches privately. She lives in Eugene, Oregon with her husband, Bill Cadbury, and their dog and two cats.
She is available for readings. Please contact her for more information.