AMY PARKER is the author of Beasts and Children, a critically acclaimed story collection. She was born in the Japanese island of Okinawa and spent the majority of her youth on diplomatic and military bases across the world. She returned to the United States after graduating from high school and studied comparative literature at Indiana University. The University of Texas at Austin awarded her a Michener Fellowship in fiction. Following that, she spent four years in intensive monastic practice at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, the United States' oldest Soto Zen monastery, and Green Gulch Farm Zen Center in Mill Valley, California.
In 2007, she was ordained as a layperson in the Soto Zen school. She left the convent to attend the Iowa Writers' Workshop, where she received her MFA in 2012. She is a resident of Iowa City.