Mimi Khalvati was born in Tehran and grew up on the Isle of Wight where she went to boarding school. After training at Drama Centre London, she worked as an actor in the UK and as a director at the Theatre Workshop Tehran and on the fringe in London. She started writing poetry while bringing up children. Her pamphlet, Persian Miniatures (Smith/Doorstop 1990) was a winner of the Poetry Business competition 1989. Her Carcanet collections include In White Ink (1991), Mirrorwork (1995), for which she received an Arts Council of England Writer's Award, and Entries on Light (1997). Her Selected Poems was published in 2000 and her collection, The Chine, in 2002. Her most recent collection, The Meanest Flower, published by Carcanet in 2007, was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation, a Financial Times Book of the Year, and was shortlisted for the TS Eliot Prize. In 2011, Carcanet published a new selected poems, Child.
Mimi is the founder of The Poetry School and has co-edited its anthologies of new writing, Tying the Song (2000), Entering the Tapestry (2003) and I Am Twenty People! (2007), published by Enitharmon Press.
Mimi has been Poet in Residence at the Royal Mail and has held fellowships at the Royal Literary Fund at City University, the International Writing Program in Iowa, and the American School in London. She received a Cholmondeley Award from the Society of Authors in 2006 and she is currently a Visiting Lecturer at Goldsmiths College, University of London.