Stacy Carlson

Stacy Carlson

My work springs from forgotten details of the historical past. Scientists once believed swallows hibernated at the bottom of lakes; Russian monks aboard a ship in the arctic claimed they saw Judas Iscariot adrift on an ice floe; Harlem was once a savanna, and PT Barnum once hosted a devious buffalo hunt in Brooklyn. Who were those monks and what were they doing in the arctic? What, exactly, was in a scientist's 18th century cabinet of wonders? What manner of wildlife wandered the Harlem grasslands? I catch details that flash with this poetic possibility and harness the imaginative worlds that spring up around them. I build novels for these worlds to live in.

My fiction and essays have appeared in Leaf Litter, Talking Writing, Tin House, Post Road, In Pieces: An Anthology of Fragmentary Writing, and Inkwell. I have been awarded fellowships and residencies from Signal Fire, The Arctic Circle, and Djerassi Resident Artists Program. I received the 2003 Dana Portfolio Award, given for three book-length manuscripts. I hold an MFA in fiction from Sarah Lawrence College.

I grew up in Seattle and now live in Oakland, California. My background includes work in a fish cannery, as a hot springs caretaker, a field biologist on a bird refuge in southeast Alaska, and an assistant wilderness guide in arctic Alaska and Big Sur, California.

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