Lev Raphael – Bio

Lev Raphael - Write Without Borders

Lev RaphaelI grew up in New York but I got over it, and I’ve lived in Michigan for more than half my life. For twenty years I’ve taught creative writing and other courses at Michigan State University, Fordham University, and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst where I earned my MFA in Creative Writing. I also hold a PhD in American Studies from Michigan State University.

I’m a winner of the Harvey Swados Fiction Prize, the Reed Smith Fiction Prize, a Lambda Literary Award, a finalist for a Midwest Book Award, and have had several books on best-seller lists. My work has been translated into over a dozen languages and one of my books has sold 300,000 copies.

You can read my latest published essays here: “Staring at Wheelchairs in the Airport” (PDF), “My Mother’s Secret Memoirs,” “Cold Marble/Hot Memories,” “Me and My Migraines,” “Health Club Blues,” “Another Day, Another Migraine,” “Passager Pandemic Diary,” “Panic in Michigan,” “The Bells,” “Rushing to Berlin,” “Finding My Voice at Sixty” (PDF), “Night Words” (PDF), “The Tangled History of My Beard,” “Out/Write Memories” (PDF),  “What Do Writers Need? Sitzfleisch!, “London Healing” (PDF), “Bike Shame/Bike Love/Bike Joy,” “Portrait of a Lady,” “The Bells” (reprint), “Unexpected Journey,” “House of Pain,” “Mother Museum” (PDF), “My Jesus Hair” (PDF), “Henry James Told Me Who I Was,” “Good Morning, Migraine” (PDF), “Why Not Reject Your Rejections?,” “Bridge of Dreams” (PDF), “If I Were Straight, I Would Never Have Learned How to Swim” (PDF),  “Teaching at a Toxic University,” “On Fire” (PDF), “Two Worlds” (PDF), “Musketeer,” “Rendezvous in Bruxelles,” “My Mother’s Abortion,” “How to Do a Killer Reading,” “It’s All Relative” (PDF), “So You’ve Been Invited to Do a Reading…,” “My Jesus Hair” (reprint), “Me and the Musketeers,” “How to Handle Q&A at Your Reading,” “Voyages,” “Free Man in London,” “How Do You Find Your Titles?,” “Words & Music,” “I Had Jesus Hair,” “Welcome, New Professor!,” “I Had Jesus Hair” (reprint), “Listen to Your Mother, Damn It!,” “My Brother is Toast,” “Cold Marble/Hot Memories” (reprint), “If My Beard Could Talk,” “Pancake Fantasy,” “Haunted?” (PDF), “Words & Music” (PDF; reprint), “Boom!,” “Plan B = Liberation” (PDF), “Dana Andrews Dream Suite,” “Still Life With Pain,” “Bad Sex Blues,” “Writing Queer Mysteries Changed My Life” (PDF), “Streetwalker Stew” (PDF), “Russian Regrets” (PDF), “Writer off the Road,” “Ghost Call” (PDF), “The Zombies Didn’t Get Me,” “So My Mother Killed Stalin,” “My First House of Worship Was a Museum,” “Honey from the Rock,” “Notes from a Small Room,” “Freaking Out in Florence” (PDF), “Rejection Doesn’t Have to Hurt,” “My Health Club Blues” (reprint) and “Are We Made of Dreams?” “Henry James Told Me Who I Was” (reprint), “Jacob’s Angel & Me” and “Edith Wharton Changed My Life” are forthcoming.

My fiction and essays are studied in colleges and universities across the U.S. and Canada—which means I’ve become homework. I’m a seasoned performer of my own work and I’ve done hundreds of invited readings, talks, and keynote addresses on three different continents.

Special Collections at Michigan State University’s Library has purchased my current and future literary papers, which as a friend says, earns me “a share of dusty immortality.”

You can find my blogs about writing, books, publishing, and the writing life at my other website’s blog Writing Across Genres and on The Huffington Post. For more information about my books and me, including upcoming gigs, check out www.levraphael.com. To learn about my own writing process, read a recent interview with journalist Andrea King Collier here.