I 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,” “My Mother’s Secret Memoirs,” “Cold Marble/Hot Memories,” “Me and My Migraines,” “My Health Club Blues,” “Another Day, Another Migraine,” “Passager Pandemic Diary” (scroll down), “Panic in Michigan,” “The Bells,” “Rushing to Berlin,” “Finding My Voice at Sixty” (PDF), “Night Words,” “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,” “My House of Pain” and “Mother Museum” (PDF). “If I Were Straight, I Wouldn’t Know How to Swim,” “Two Worlds” and “My Jesus Hair” 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.