Tara Ison is the author of the novels The List (Scribner), A Child out of Alcatraz (Faber & Faber, Inc.), a Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and Rockaway (Counterpoint/Soft Skull Press), featured as one of the “Best Books of Summer” in O, The Oprah Magazine, July 2013. Her essay collection, Reeling Through Life: How I Learned to Live, Love, and Die at the Movies, Winner of the PEN Southwest Book Award for Best Creative Nonfiction, and her short story collection Ball, were both published in 2015 by Counterpoint/Soft Skull Press.
Her short fiction, essays, poetry and book reviews have appeared in Tin House, O, The Oprah Magazine, Salon, Electric Literature, The Kenyon Review, The Rumpus, Nerve.com, Black Clock, TriQuarterly, PMS: poemmemoirstory, Publisher’s Weekly, The Week magazine, The Mississippi Review, LA Weekly, the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Chicago Tribune, the San Jose Mercury News, and numerous anthologies. She is also the co-writer of the cult movie Don’t Tell Mom The Babysitter’s Dead.
She is the recipient of 2020 and 2008 National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship and a 2008 COLA Individual Artist Grant, as well as multiple Yaddo fellowships, a fellowship at Hawthornden Castle in Scotland, a Rotary Foundation Scholarship for International Study, a Brandeis National Women’s Committee Award, a Thurber House Fiction Writer-in-Residence Fellowship, the Simon Blattner Fellowship from Northwestern University, and a California Arts Council Artists’ Fellowship Award.
Ison received her MFA in Fiction & Literature from Bennington College. She has taught creative writing at Washington University in St. Louis, Northwestern University, Ohio State University, Goddard College, Antioch University Los Angeles, and UC Riverside Palm Desert’s MFA in Creative Writing program. She is currently Professor of Fiction at Arizona State University.
Photo by Michael Powers