Neil Aitken was born in Vancouver, British Columbia and grew up in Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, and various parts of western Canada and the United States. He worked for a number of years as a computer games programmer before leaving the industry in 2004 to complete an MFA from the University of California, Riverside. He is currently pursuing a PhD in literature and creative writing at the University of Southern California.
His poems have appeared in Barn Owl Review, Crab Orchard Review, The Drunken Boat, Poetry Southeast, RHINO, Sou'wester, and Washington Square, as well as in the anthologies Blue Arc West: An Anthology of California Poets and Homage to Vallejo. He is the founding editor of Boxcar Poetry Review, a Kundiman fellow, and three-time Pushcart Prize nominee. The Lost Country of Sight, winner of the Levine Prize for Poetry, is his first book.