Cyan James was born in Lancaster, CA, and grew up along the west coast, primarily in Washington State. She earned a B.L.S. in genetics and photography from Iowa State University, and is currently enrolled in the M.F.A. creative writing program at the University of Michigan. She interns at the Michigan Quarterly Review, and has been published in The Barcelona Review and Beloit Poetry Journal. She has won a Hopwood award in essay writing, and been awarded a poetry scholarship to Breadloaf.