Shanta Acharya was born and educated in Orissa, India. She won a scholarship to Oxford, where she was among the first batch of women admitted to Worcester College. She was a recipient of the Violet Vaughan Morgan Fellowship at Oxford, and was subsequently appointed a Visiting Scholar in the Department of English and American Literature and Languages at Harvard University.
The author of ten books, her latest publication is A World Elsewhere, her first novel. Her New & Selected Poems is due in 2016. Her latest poetry collection is Dreams That Spell The Light. Her poems, articles and reviews have featured in major publications worldwide, including Poetry Review, The Spectator, The Guardian Poem of the Week, Edinburgh Review, PN Review, The Warwick Review, Acumen, Asia Literary Review, The Little Magazine, The Harper Collins Book of English Poetry, India International Centre Quarterly, Kavya Bharati, The Bloodaxe Book of Contemporary Indian Poets, Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia & Beyond (Norton, 2008), The Literary Review, World Poetry Yearbook 2013 and The World Poets Quarterly (China).
She is the founder director of Poetry in the House, Lauderdale House in London, where she has been hosting monthly poetry readings since 1996. She has twice served on the Board of Trustees of the Poetry Society, The Poetry School, and the Arvon Foundation.