1961년 서울에서 태어나 서울대 서양사학과를 졸업하고 홍익대 대학원 미술사학과에서 석사학위를 받았다. 1992년 『창작과비평』 겨울호에 「속초에서」 외 7편의 시를 발표하면서 작품활동을 시작했다. 저서로 시집 『서른, 잔치는 끝났다』 『꿈의 페달을 밟고』 『돼지들에게』 『도착하지 않은 삶』 『이미 뜨거운 것들』, 장편소설 『흉터와 무늬』 『청동정원』, 산문집 『시대의 우울: 최영미의 유럽일기』 『화가의 우연한 시선』 『길을 잃어야 진짜 여행이다』 『공은 사람을 기다리지 않는다』 등이 있으며, 이수문학상을 수상했다.
Born in Seoul in 1961, Choi Young-mi studied Western history (BA) at Seoul National University and art history (MA) at Hongik University. Faced with the atrocities committed by the then dictatorial government of Korea, the author engaged in democratization movement by participating in anti-government protests and collaboratively translating Karl Marx’s Capital during and after her college days. Following the decline of communism in the late 1980’s and subsequent political changes at home and abroad, however, she came to be skeptical of grand narratives and to embrace a more inclusive worldview. The author made her literary debut with the publication of seven poems including In Seokcho in The Quarterly Changbi in 1992. Published in 1994, the first collection of her poems was an instant bestseller. In addition to her two poetry collections, the author has penned the novel Scars and Patterns and essay collections The Melancholy of Time: Choi Young-mi’s European Diary (published by Changbi Publishers), To Whoever Will Read My Diary by Chance, and The Painter’s Accidental Gaze. She has translated Francis Bacon in Conversation with Michel Archimbaud into Korean and a selection of her poems has been translated into English in Three Poets of Modern Korea (Sarabande Books).