Myrna Pena-Reyes and a twin sister were born to school teacher parents in Cagayan de Oro, Misamis Oriental. Her family spent the World War II year in the jungles of Mindanao where her mother passed away when Pena-Reyes was four years old. After the war, her family (including a younger brother) moved to Dumaguete City in Negros Oriental where her father joned the faculty of the Biology Department of Silliman University. She completed her elementary, high school, and college education at Silliman. Pena-Reyes, who has published in the Philippines and United states, holds a Masters in Fine Arts in creative writing from the University of Oregon. While there, she met her husband William T. Sweet, also a poet. For several years, she was on the faculty of the Department of English and Literature at Silliman University and the National Summer Writers Workshop. In the U.S., Pena-Reyes has taught college classes; was co-owner of a grocery store and a bookstore; worked in an office supply shop; and is presently a book buyer for a bookstore in Eugene, Oregon where she and her husband reside.