Anna Smaill was born in Auckland 1979. She holds a BA in English and Music (including Performance Violin) which she completed at both Auckland and Canterbury Universities. She gained an MA in English from Auckland University (2001) and her thesis was written on Janet Frame. She also holds an MA in Creative Writing from the International Institute of Modern Letters at Victoria University of Wellington. She spent almost two years in Tokyo teaching English at a science and engineering university.
Anna's first collection of poetry, The Violinist in Spring, was published by Victoria University Press in December 2005. It was named one of the Listener's Best Books of 2006. Her novel The Chimes was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2015. Her poems have appeared in Sport, Landfall and the NZ Listener, as well as in Best New Zealand Poems.