Karin Boye was born in Göteborg, Sweden and studied at Uppsala University from 1921 to 1926. Her first collection of poems, Clouds (Moln) appeared in 1922. During the 1920s, she was a member of the Swedish Clarté League, a socialist group opposed to the rise of fascism.
In 1931, she co-founded the modernist poetry magazine Spektrum, introducing Swedish readers to the works of T.S. Eliot and the Surrealists. She translated many of Eliot's works into Swedish, including "The Waste Land." Her best known work outside Sweden is probably her dark dystopian novel Kallocain. It was adapted into a Swedish film in 1981. In 1929, Karin Boye married Leif Björck; they later separated and she had several relationships with women. She died at age 40, apparently of suicide from an overdose of sleeping pills. Today she is considered one of Sweden's best-loved poets.