Naomi Benaron was born and raised in Boston, MA and currently lives in Tucson, AZ. She is a graduate of The Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Antioch University, Los Angeles and Scripps University of Oceanography, San Diego. She has lived on a sailboat, worked on a Kibbutz, and traveled extensively. She works with Afghan Women through the Afghan Women's Writing Project,.
Her novel ‘Running the Rift’ won the 2010 Bellwether Prize for fiction, a prize awarded for a first novel that has discussed social engagement within its literature. She is also the author of ‘Love Letter from a Fat Man’, a collection of short stories, which won the 2006 G. S. Sharat Chandra prize for fiction. Her passion in writing revolves around issues of social justice. Both works tell stories concerning Rwandan genocide. Her works extend to poetry which has been published in many acclaimed journals and anthologies.
She currently teaches at the UCLA Writers’ program and mentors Afghan women through the Afghan Women’s Writing Project, an online space where the women of Afghanistan can write in safety and freedom AWWP.
She is also a marathon runner, having run the Boston Marathon, and grew up 2 miles from the course. She states that her “best lines come to her when she is in motion”.
Her dog Scout is a published poet. Her dog JillyRoo is happy just to be a dog.