Cynthia Cruz was born in Germany and raised in Northern California, where she attended Mills College. She got her MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. Her first collection of poems, Ruin, was published by Alice James Books in 2006, and reviewed by The New York Times Sunday Book Review, Library Journal and received a starred review from Publishers Weekly. Her second collection is forthcoming from Four Way Books. She has published poems in numerous literary journals and magazines including The New Yorker, The American Poetry Review, Boston Review, Kenyon Review and The Paris Review, and in anthologies including Isn't it Romantic: 100 Love Poems by Younger Poets (Wave Books, 2004), and The Iowa Anthology of New American Poetries, edited by the late poet Reginald Shepherd (University of Iowa Press, 2004). She is the recipient of fellowships from Yaddo and the MacDowell Colony.
She has taught writing and literature at Sarah Lawrence College, in the Rutgers MFA Program, The Juilliard School, Fordham University and Eugene Lang College. She has also taught writing to New York City Public School children through Teachers and Writers Collaborative, in homeless shelters and to women in the eating disorder ward of the New York State Psychiatric Institute.