Meet Our Contributors, MQR 55:3

Purchase MQR 55:3 (Summer 2016) in print or as a downloadable PDF. 


Pearl AbrahamPearl Abraham: “Deep Throat”

Abraham is the author of American Taliban (Random House, 2010), The Seventh Beggar (Riverhead, 2005), Giving Up America (Riverhead, 1998), and The Romance Reader (Riverhead, 1995). Her editorials, essays, and stories have appeared in the New York Times, Epoch, Michigan Quarterly Review, and elsewhere. She is an associate professor in Literature and Creative Writing and directs the MFA Program in Fiction at Western New England University. She has additionally taught writing in the MFA programs at Sarah Lawrence and the University of Houston. Abraham lives in New York. Find her online at or follow her on Twitter @PearlAbraham.

Natalie BakopoulosNatalie Bakopoulos: “We Are Always Us: The Boundaries of Elena Ferrante”

Bakopoulos is the author of The Green Shore (Simon & Schuster, 2012). Her work has appeared in Tin House, Virginia Quarterly Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, the New York Times, Granta, Glimmer Train, O. Henry Prize Stories, and various other publications. She was a 2015 Fulbright Fellow in Athens, Greece. She currently teaches at the University of Michigan and Wayne State University. Follow her on Twitter @nbakopoulos.

Susan Choi in Fort Greene, Brooklyn

Susan Choi: “Stirring the Pond”

Choi is the author of four novels. Her first novel, The Foreign Student (Harper Perennial, 2004), won the Asian-American Literary Award for fiction. American Woman (Harper Perennial, 2003) was a finalist for the 2004 Pulitzer Prize and A Person of Interest (Penguin, 2008) was a finalist for the 2009 PEN/Faulkner Award. In 2010 she was named the inaugural recipient of the PEN / W.G. Sebald Award. Her most recent novel, My Education (Penguin, 2013), received a 2014 Lammy Award. A recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation, she teaches fiction writing at Yale and lives in Brooklyn. Find out more at


Natalia RomeroNatalia Romero: “The Weasel” and “Otter”

Romero was born in 1985 in Bahía Blanca, Argentina. She is the director for the virtual library A Cien Metros de la Orilla, which specializes in poetry and new narrative. Her poems will appear in Tierra, Cielo y Agua / Earth, Water and Sky: An Anthology of Environmental Poetry, which is forthcoming from Lavender Ink. She is the author of the poetry collection Nací en Verano.

Seth MichelsonSeth Michelson’s most recent book of poetry, Eyes Like Broken Windows (Press 53, 2012), was the winner of the 2013 International Book Awards. He holds a PhD in comparative literature focusing on poetry of the Americas from the University of Southern California, and an MFA in poetry from Sarah Lawrence College. His most recent books of translation include Roly Poly, from the Uruguayan poet Victoria Estol, and Dreaming in Another Land, from the Indian poet Rati Saxena. He teaches the Poetry of the Americas at Washington and Lee University. Find out more at

Felicia ZamoraFelicia Zamora: “In Storms”

Zamora’s book, Of Form & Gather, was awarded the 2016 Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize, and is forthcoming from the University of Notre Dame Press in 2017. She also received the 2015 Tomaž Šalamun Prize from Verse, and is the author of the chapbooks Imbibe {et alia} here (Dancing Girl Press, 2016) and Moby-Dick Made Me Do It (Flat Cap Publishing, 2010). Her poetry can be found in Columbia Poetry Review, Crazyhorse, Indiana Review, Meridian, Pleiades, the Cincinnati Review, TriQuarterlyWest Branch, and other places. She is an associate poetry editor for Colorado Review and holds an MFA in creative writing with a concentration in poetry from Colorado State University (2012).


Mark BrazaitisMark Brazaitis: “The Sleeping Beauty”

Brazaitis is the author of seven books, including The River of Lost Voices: Stories from Guatemala (University of Iowa Press, 1998), winner of the Iowa Short Fiction Award; The Incurables: Stories (University of Notre Dame Press, 2013), winner of the Richard Sullivan Prize and the Devil’s Kitchen Reading Award in Prose; and Julia & Rodrigo (Gival Press, 2013), winner of the Gival Press Novel Award. His latest book, Truth Poker: Stories (Autumn House, 2015), won the Autumn House Press Fiction Competition. He wrote the script for the award-winning Peace Corps film How Far Are You Willing to Go to Make a Difference? Find him online at or follow him on Facebook.

Cynthia DockrellCynthia Dockrell: “Glencliff”

Dockrell has been an editor at various publications over the years, though she now devotes her time to writing. Her work has appeared in The Gettysburg Review, Beloit Fiction Journal, Natural Bridge, Apalachee Review, and The Boston Globe, among others, and she is a recent Pushcart Prize nominee. She lives near Boston with her husband and is currently at work on a novel.

Beth KissileffBeth Kissileff: “Counterfeit”

Kissileff’s first novel, Questioning Return, will be published by Mandel Vilar Press in November 2016. She works as a journalist and writes regularly in Tablet, Forward, New York Jewish Week, New York Times, Haaretz, Jerusalem Post, Jerusalem Report, and others. She has had writer’s residencies at the Corporation of Yaddo, the Ragdale Foundation, and the Virginia Center for Creative Arts. Visit her website at or follow her on Twitter @bethkissileff.

Barbara KrasnerBarbara Krasner: “Red”

Krasner holds an MFA from the Vermont College of Fine Arts and teaches creative writing in New Jersey. A historian, she often draws on twentieth-century events and personalities for her fiction and poetry. She is the author of many books and articles for children, and she has contributed to historical projects such as the Images of America series. Find her online at or follow her on Twitter @barbarakrasner. Find out more about The Whole Megillah, Krasner’s online resource for Jewish-themed fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, at and on Twitter @TWMblog.

Matthew LansburghMatthew Lansburgh: “Driving North”

Lansburgh’s fiction has been published or is forthcoming in StoryQuarterly, The Florida Review, Columbia, Guernica, Hobart, Slice, and Joyland. His story “The Lure” was the winner of The Florida Review’s 2015 fiction contest, and Francisco Goldman selected his story “Gunpoint” as the winner of Columbia’s 2014 fiction contest. He has received two Pushcart Prize nominations, and his work has received financial support from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference and NYU’s MFA Program, where he taught recent veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as a Veterans Writing Workshop Fellow. Visit him online at or follow him on Twitter @senorlansburgh.

Monica McFawnMonica McFawn: “Flickerdot”

McFawn’s story collection, Bright Shards of Someplace Else (University of Georgia Press, 2014)won a Flannery O’Connor Award and was named a Michigan Notable Book, a finalist for the Ohioana Book Award and an NPR “Great Read.” Her stories have appeared in journals such as Georgia Review, Missouri Review, Gettysburg Review, and others, and her screenplays and plays have had readings in New York and Chicago. A recipient of a NEA Fellowship in Literature and a Walter E. Dakin fellowship from Sewanee Writers’ Conference, McFawn is an assistant professor of English at Northern Michigan University, where she teaches fiction and scriptwriting. Find her online at or follow her on Twitter @mcfawn.

Elizabeth PolinerElizabeth Poliner: “Home Waters”

Poliner is the author of the newly-released novel As Close to Us As Breathing (Lee Boudreaux Books, 2016), which was selected as an “Best Books of 2016 So Far” in Literature/Fiction. She has also published a poetry collection, What You Know in Your Hands (David Robert Books, 2015), and a novel-in-stories, Mutual Life & Casualty (The Permanent Press, 2005). She is a recipient of seven individual artist grants from the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities, fiction fellowships to the Wesleyan and Sewanee writers’ conferences, and artist residencies at the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, the Wurlitzer Foundation, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Her work has appeared in the Kenyon Review, Colorado Review, Beltway Quarterly Poetry, and the Southern Review, among other journals, and a recent essay, “How Mapping Alice Munro’s Stories Helped Me As a Writer,” appeared on LitHub earlier this year. Poliner teaches in the MFA and undergraduate creative writing programs at Hollins University. Find out more at


Photo of Beth Kissileff by Yael Perlman. Photo of Susan Choi by Adrian Kinloch.

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