I think that when we are young we write because we believe we have something to say. I’m older now, and I’m not so sure of that.

I think I write now in the hope that I have something to hear.

Robert McKean’s current projects include:

  • The Catalog of Crooked Thoughts (now available for purchase), a novel that explores profound loss and recovery
  • Someone To Watch Over Me, a historical novel set during the Little Steel Strike, 1937
  • Shutdown, a novel that deals with the cataclysmic Rust-Belt Depression of the 1980s
  • A Wilderness of Monkeys, a novel that takes a contemporary spin on The Merchant of Venice
  • Elegy to Ganaego: The Decline of an American Town, a collection of interlocking stories that span the decades in Ganaego from 1958 to the present

Photo by M. Bebabib

I think that when we are young we write because we believe we have something to say. I’m older now, and I’m not so sure of that.

I think I write now in the hope that I have something to hear.

Photo by M. Bebabib

Robert McKean’s current projects include:

  • Someone To Watch Over Me, a historical novel set during the Little Steel Strike, 1937
  • Shutdown, a novel that deals with the cataclysmic Rust-Belt Depression of the 1980s
  • A Catalog of Crooked Thoughts, a novel that explores profound loss and recovery
  • A Wilderness of Monkeys, a novel that takes a contemporary spin on The Merchant of Venice
  • Elegy to Ganaego: The Decline of an American Town, a collection of interlocking stories that span the decades in Ganaego from 1958 to the present

Novel

  • The Catalog of Crooked Thoughts, Longleaf Press Prize Winner (Methodist University Press, Winter 2017). Also named a Finalist in the 2018 Eric Hoffer Awards.

Stories

  • “No Talent for Sleep,” Adelaide Literary Award Anthology, Finalist, Summer 2017
  • “Red Box, Red Box,” Kindred, Issue 12, Summer 2017
  • “A Wilderness of Monkeys,” Adelaide Magazine, Year II, Number 7, Volume I, June 2017
  • “However Innocently, However Unwittingly,” The Flexible Persona, Spring 2017, Vol. 02, No. 01 – Nominated for the Pushcart prize.
  • The House on Pienza Road,” Border Crossing (Volume 6) – Nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Nominated for a Best of the Net award.
  • Semitone Summer,” 34th Parallel, Issue 35. (Note: To view pages, please use the navigation arrows on either side, or click the “Toggle Thumbnails” button at the bottom. You may also download by clicking the “Download PDF” button at the bottom.)
  • “That’s All That Matters,” Armchair/Shotgun, Issue 5
  • Mr. Mason’s Camera,” Crack the Spine, Issue 132 (also published in the journal’s annual print anthology)
  • “Tody Was a Seven,” 34th Parallel, Issue 27
  • “Spare Parts & Bloody Bones,” Front Range Review, Spring 2014
  • “Rags,” The Bacon Review, April 2014
  • “Velia Creaming Her Legs,” The MacGuffin, Vol. 29, No. 3
  • “Landscape Painting,” Ruminate, Issue 25
  • “Calabash,” the Dublin Quarterly, No. 15
  • Ralphie’s Clarinet,” The Kenyon Review, Vol. 26, No. 1
  • “My American Gasoline Dreams, first letter,” Chicago Review, Vol. 25, No. 1
  • “The Bicycle Shop,” King James Review, Vol. 1, No. 2
  • “You, Stanley, and Your Stockcar in a Dying Town,” Chicago Review, Vol. 23, No. 4 and Vol. 24, No. 1

Awards & Recognition

  • “However Innocently, However Unwittingly,” The Flexible Persona, 2017 Pushcart Prize Nomination
  • “The House on Pienza Road,” Border Crossing, 2017 Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net Nominations
  •  “No Talent for Sleep,” Adelaide Literary Award Anthology, Finalist, Summer 2017
  •  A Wilderness of Monkeys, Finalist, Dana Awards, 2016
  •  Story collection (under different titles): Finalist, Tartt First Fiction Award (Livingston Press), 2018; Finalist, Serena McDonald Kennedy Award (Snake-Nation Press), 2015; Honorable Mention, Leapfrog Press Fiction Contest, 2011; Finalist, Flannery O’Connor Short Story Award, 2010; Finalist, Mary McCarthy Prize for Short Fiction (administered by Sarabande Press), 2004 and Semi-Finalist, 2005
  • That Which We Ought Not to Have Done (now entitled: Shutdown), First Honorable Mention, Dana Awards, 2006; semi-finalist, the Peter Taylor Prize for the Novel, 2005; ; semi-finalist, Three Oaks Prize in fiction at Story Line Press, 2000; Finalist, Heekin Group Foundation James Fellowship for the Novel in Progress, 1999
  • The Catalog of Crooked Thoughts, Finalist, Dana Awards, 2010
  • “Out of Harm’s Way” nominated by Margot Livesey to be her workshop’s contribution to be considered for the Sewanee Writers’ Conference submission to the Best New American Voices competition, July 2001
  •   Massachusetts Arts Council Grant for Fiction, 2000
  •  “Calabash, Calabash!” second place, White Eagle Coffee Store Press Long Fiction contest, April 1999

 

 

Conference Attendance

  • 1998 Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, studied with Richard Bausch and Jay Parini
  • 1999 Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, studied with Andrea Barrett
  • 2000 Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, studied with Charles Baxter
  • 2001 Sewanee Writers’ Conference, studied with Margot Livesey and Barry Hannah

Education

  • University of Chicago, M.A., English Language and Literature
  • Pennsylvania State University, B.A., English Language and Literature

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