Writers Institute

Silas Dent Zobal, Ph.D.

Silas Dent Zobal

Born in Bellingham, Wash., Silas Zobal grew up crabbing and fishing for salmon in the bay. Educated in Chicago, he was hit by four different cars when working as a bicycle messenger in the Loop. Now a decade-long inhabitant of the East Coast, he’s spent the last 10 or so years making up for, in the words of a friend, his “misspent youth.” From his observation of his own slow migration eastward, Zobal suspects that the writer Mark Winegardner was right when he said that the “Midwestern School of writing is the main stage. Everything else is pretty peripheral. Midwesterners are so full of self-loathing that they can’t bring themselves to say so. Think about it. We’ve had nine American Nobel laureates—five of the nine from the Midwest. No other region has produced more than one. Midwesterner Ernest Hemingway once said, ‘All of American fiction comes from a book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn’—by a Midwesterner.” Zobal doesn’t know if anything Winegarder says is true, but he does want to encourage you to read Huckleberry Finn.

Zobal’s first book, The Inconvenience of the Wings, will be available in February 2014. He has published stories in journals and magazines such as the Missouri Review, Glimmer Train, Wisconsin Review, Beloit Fiction Journal, New Orleans Review and Shenandoah. He has been anthologized in Peculiar Pilgrims: Stories from the Left Hand of God; featured in a meet-the-author segment in the Missouri Review; and awarded the Inaugural Discovered Voices Award from the Iron Horse Literary Review. He was awarded a 2008 National Endowment of the Arts fellowship in fiction.

He is also the adviser for Susquehanna's undergraduate journal, the Susquehanna Review.

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