William Orem, M. F. A., Ph. D

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William Orem, M.F.A., Ph.D.

Writer-in-Residence, Emerson College

See williamorem.com


Ph.D. English, Indiana University, Bloomington, 1999

M.F.A. Creative Writing, Indiana University, Bloomington, 1994

B.A. Psychology and Neuroscience, Hampshire College, 1988
Dissertation: A New Poetics of Silence: Joyce, Beckett, Cage


  • My latest novel, The Word-Bearer, is currently in my agent’s hands. He will begin pitching it to publishing houses next month.

  • My novel Killer of Crying Deer appeared in September, 2010, from Kitsune Press. In 2012 it won the Eric Hoffer Award.

  • My novel-in-stories Across the River won the Clay Reynolds Prize from Texas University Press and appeared in 2009.

  • My first novel-in-stories Zombi, You My Love won the La Questa Press national first book competition and appeared in 1999. It also won the GLCA New Writers' Award, formerly given to Louise Erdrich, Richard Ford, Sherman Alexie, and Alice Munro.

“Corpse Chewers: The Vampire in Ulysses.” James Joyce Quarterly, 2013
“John Cage.” Encyclopedia of American Poetry: The 20th Century, 2001


Sou'wester, Alaska Quarterly Review, Willow Springs, The Potomac Review, Plot, Dream International Quarterly, The Wolf Head Quarterly, The Paradoxist, Blue Lady, Robin's Nest, Sulphur River Literary Review, Parnassus Literary Journal, After Hours, 360 Degrees: Art and Literary Journal, The Tome, Midnight Zoo, Rural Medicine, Sinister, Los Pescadores, Flying Island: The Writers’ Center of Indiana, Me Three Literary Journal, Westview: A Journal of Western Oklahoma, Cabal Asylum, Night Train, Fortney Publishing's Holiday Stories, The Sycamore Review, Barkeater: The Adirondack Review, Margin, Hospital Drive, Improper Bostonian, Boston Fiction Annual Review, Emerson Review, Survivor's Review, Inflight Magazine, Shaking Like a Mountain, Devilfish Review, Oregon Literary Review


  • Eric Hoffer Award for Excellence in Small Press, 2012

  • Clay Reynolds Novella Prize, 2009

  • Short-Listed for the Tom Howard short story contest, 2009

  • Reading by Invitation at the Boston Fiction Festival, 2007

  • Improper Bostonian Fiction Award, 2006

  • Semifinalist, Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center Fellowship in Fiction, 2006

  • Improper Bostonian Fiction Award, 2004

  • 2nd place, Powells Books Literary Essay Contest, 2004

  • Honorable Mention, New Century Writers' Award for the Short Story, 2003

  • 3rd Place, New Century Writers' Award for the Novel, 2003

  • 2nd place, Hemispheres Magazine Faux Faulkner Contest, 2003

  • Great Lakes Colleges Association New Writers' Award in Fiction, 2000

  • La Questa Press National First Book Competition, 1999

  • Pushcart Prize Nomination by Alaska Quarterly Review, 1999

  • Honorable Mention in Datlow and Windling's The Year's Best (fiction), 1995

  • Honorable Mention in The Missouri Review Short Story Awards, 1990

Windhover, The Princeton Arts Review, Sulphur River Literary Review, The Piedmont Literary Review, The Comstock Review, Midwest Poetry Review, The Yalobusha Review, Onionhead Literary Quarterly, The Wolf Head Quarterly, Rafters, The New Press Literary Quarterly, Liberty Hill, The Penware National Poetry Award, Confluence, Pike Creek Review, Minimus, Raconteur, Poetic Space, Wire, Rain Dog Review, 360 Degrees, Pleiades, Baybury Review, The Slate, Neologisms, Poetpourri, Sparrowgrass, Parting Gifts, Fledgling, The Stable Companion, Poetry Bone, Verse Unto Us, The Talking River Review, Poetry Motel, KYEzine, The Cracked Kettle Review, black bough, Point Judith Light, Haiku Headlines, Brussels Sprout, Frogpond, Modern Haiku, Smartish pace, Golden Apple Press' Skipping Stones, Runes, Purple Mountain, Exquisite Corpse, The Curbside Review, Knoxville Writers Guild, Grub Street Free Press, The No Tell Motel, The Southern Anthology, Potpourri, The Rockhurst Review, Erotic Readers and Writers Association, Oyez Review, Dogwood, Caesura, The Bellevue Literary Review, Color Wheel, Wisteria, J Journal, Rock & Sling, Hotmetal Press, New Verse News, Prune Juice, Survivor Chronicles, Alehouse, Garden Verse, Nimrod, The Snowbound Chapbook Series, The New Formalist

  • Finalist, Pablo Neruda Prize, 2013

  • Invitation to read at Windhover Writers’ Festival, 2013 (declined)

  • Invitation to Read at Fuller Craft Museum, Brockton, MA 2012

  • Semi-Finalist, Crab Orchard Review Poetry series, 2011

  • Semi-Finalist, Dorset Prize, 2009

  • Merit Award, Atlanta Review International Poetry Competition, 2009

  • Finalist, Tampa Review Prize, 2008

  • Reading by Invitation: Cape Cod Cultural Center, 2008

  • Semi-Finalist, Pablo Neruda Prize, 2008

  • Highly Commended: Open Poetry International Sonnet Competition, 2008

  • Residence with Artist’s Grant in Poetry, Vermont Studio Center, 2006 (declined)

  • Finalist, the Pablo Neruda Prize, 2006

  • Semifinalist, Kathryn A. Morton Prize in Poetry, 2006

  • Inclusion in The Treasure Chest (best of ERWA poetry online), 2006

  • First Honorable Mention -- Oregon State Poetry Association Awards, 2005

  • The Grub Street Free Press Poetry Award, 2004

  • First Alternate, Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center Fellowship in Poetry, 1998

  • Pushcart Prize Nomination by Sulphur River Literary Review in Poetry, 1997

  • Midwest Review Editor's Prize: nominated in Poetry, 1997

  • Honorable mention in the Writer's Digest Magazine Writing Competition for poetry, placing within the top 100 out of 12,000 submissions nationwide, 1996

  • The Penware National Poetry Awards, 1995

  • Featured Poet: Sulphur River Literary Review, 1994

  • My poetry has been featured on the NPR-based radio broadcasts The Linen of Words and The Poet’s Weave.


  • My full-length play The Seabirds was produced by Acadiana Repertory Theater, Louisiana, 2014.

  • My ten-minute play Bloodline was produced at Sexfest II, Boston, 2014.

  • The Seabirds was produced by Argos Theatre, Boston, 2013.

  • My 10-miniute play The Accidents of Bread was a semi-finalist for the Canton One Acts Festival, 2013

  • My 10-minute play The Accidents of Bread was performed by Shakespeare in the Park, 2012.

  • My 10-minute play And Clouds Made of Bones was performed by Firehouse Theatre, 2010.

  • My 10-min play Trofimov: A Student was performed in North Park Playwright Festival, San Diego, CA, 2010 (chosen over 195 playwrights).

  • My 10-minute play Trofimov, A Student was performed by Image Theatre, 2009.

  • My 10-minute play Ontological was performed at the Turtle Lane Theatre, 2009.

  • The Seabirds was given a staged reading in Manhattan at Urban Stages, 2009.

  • My 10-minute play Cabman was performed by Gurnet Theatre Project, 2008.

  • The Seabirds won the Maxim Mazumdar New Play Competition at Alleyway Theatre in Buffalo, NY. It received its world premiere in September 07.

  • My 10-minute play Suspension was produced in January 08 by Actors Theatre of Louisville.

  • Suspension was one of 14 chosen from a pool of over 1,200 for production at City Theatre's Summer Shorts Festival in Miami, FL. It received its world premiere in July 07 at the Carnival Center Studio Theatre in Miami.

 Semi-finalist, Canton One Acts Festival, 2013
 Semi-finalist, The Source Festival, Source Theatre, Washington, DC, 2008
 Finalist, The Boston Theatre Marathon, Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, 2007
 Finalist, The Curan Repertory Company One-Act Festival, New York, NY, 2006
 Finalist, The Boston Theatre Marathon, Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, 2005


  • The Accidents of Bread was nominated for the Heideman Award at Actors Theatre of Louisville, 2012

  • And Clouds Made of Bones was a finalist for the Fusion Theatre Short Works Festival, 2010

  • Ontological was nominated for the Heideman Award at Actors Theatre of Louisville, 2009

  • Suspension was nominated for the Heideman Award at Actors Theatre of Louisville, 2008

  • Winner, the Wonderland One-Act Festival, New York, NY, 2007 (declined)

  • Katharine Cornell Award for Outstanding Contribution by a Visiting Artist, 2007

Boston Theatre Marathon XII: Smith & Kraus, 2012
Poems & Plays, 2012
Boston Theatre Marathon XI: Smith & Kraus, 2010
Conclave: A Journal of Character, 2010
Best Ten-Minute Plays 2009: Three or More Actors. Smith & Kraus, 2009

” The Seven Deadly Sins of Writing Return”: AWP Panel Discussion, 2014
“The Seven Deadly Sins of Writing”: AWP Panel Discussion, 2013
 “The Vampire in Ulysses”: presentation at the annual convention of the New England

Conference for Irish Studies, 2011
 Chosen to adjudicate the Tennessee Arts Commission Prize in Fiction, Creative Nonfiction,

and Poetry, 2008
The Pope and Sex (Ryder Magazine), 2013; Farewell Rocket Summer: A Tribute to Ray Bradbury (Psychology Today); “Darkness of Mind: How Dostoyevsky Helps Us Understand Timothy McVeigh” (Ryder Magazine); “When I Met The Exorcist” (Los Pescadores Magazine); “In Memoriam” (Non Satis Scire); “Mary’s Shelley’s Fatal Attraction” (Mystery Scene Magazine); “Genocide Machines: IBM and the Holocaust” (STNews). “Illumination” (This I Believe); "Hut of the Wanderer" (TransitionsAbroad.com.) Visual and performing arts reviews available on request.

My travel essay "Basho's Hut" won runner-up status in the 2008 Transitions Abroad travel writing contest.
“The Monsters of Race: from Nosferatu to Blade” (Ryder Magazine); “The Aesthetic Defense: the Death of Leni Riefenstahl” (Dayton City Paper); “Terror Anonymous: John Carpenter’s Halloween and the Malling of America” (Dayton City Paper); “Peaceful Warrior and American Buddhism” (STNews.com); “Why We Don’t Need Superman” (Free Inquiry)

The Foundational Questions Institute; Science and Theology News, Research and Creative Activity, A Moment of Science, The College Magazine, Dayton City Paper, Science and Spirit Magazine, Indiana University Alumni Magazine, Society for Neuroscience, Vol. 15 (coauthor), Society for Neuroscience Vol. 16 (coauthor), First Annual Meeting of the Society for Biological Rhythms, Vol. 1 (coauthor), Science and Religion Articles of Distinction; Skeptical Inquirer

Frontier Science, Christian Science Monitor; Institute of Philosophy, University of Zielonogorski; Altruists International; Scriptorium; Freerepublic; Tendencias21.net


  • The Road Kate Built (Kitsune Press), 2012

  • And Know This Place (Indiana Historical Society Press), 2011

  • The Country Doctor Revisited: A Twenty-First Century Reader (Kent State University Press), 2009

  • Hand Luggage Only (Open Poetry Ltd.), 2008

  • Rural Medicine (Hiram College Press), 2008

  • The Bedside Guide to No Tell Motel (No Tell Books), 2006

  • Writings on the Body (University of Tennessee Press), 2006


  • Thomas Williams Fellowship, The Christopher Isherwood Foundation, 2003

  • Fiction Fellowship at the Herzen University Summer Literary Seminar in St. Petersburg, Russia, 2005 (declined)

  • Wilson Fellowship, given by Indiana University to one entering student each year in recognition of her or his merit as a creative writer.


  • Modern Language Association

  • AWP

  • The Academy of American Poets

  • The Planetary Society

Cornelia Nixon, Professor, Letters Division Chair, Mills College, 5000 MacArthur Blvd., Oakland, CA 94613. cnixon@mills.edu
Stephen Watt, Chair, Indiana University English Department, Ballantine Hall, Bloomington, IN 47408. watt@indiana.edu
Full dossier available on request from Indiana University.

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