Photo credit: Sandy Kavalier

Elizabeth Poliner

b. 1960

Current City, State, Country

Roanoke, Virginia, USA

Birth City, State, Country

Middletown, Connecticut, USA


Elizabeth Poliner is the author of the poetry collection, What You Know in Your Hands (David Roberts Books), a Beltway Poetry Quarterly Best Book of 2015, and the novel, As Close to Us as Breathing (Little, Brown & Co.), winner of the 2017 Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize in Fiction, finalist for the Ribolow Prize for Jewish Fiction, finalist for the Library of Virginia People’s Choice Award in Fiction, and an Amazon Best Book of 2016. Other books are a poetry chapbook, Sudden Fog and a novel in stories, Mutual Life & Casualty. Her short fiction and poetry have appeared widely in literary journals including The Kenyon Review, The Sun, The Southern Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, and TriQuarterly. She is a recipient of seven individual artist grants from the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities, fiction fellowships to the Wesleyan and Sewanee writers’ conferences, and artist residencies at Yaddo, MacDowell, The Wurlitzer Foundation, and The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. She has taught creative writing extensively, most recently at Hollins University’s MFA program in creative writing.

Published Works

What You Know In Your Hands (David Roberts Books, 2015)
Sudden Fog (chapbook, Spire Press, 2011)

As Close to Us as Breathing
(novel; Lee Boudreaux Books/Little, Brown & Co., 2016)
Mutual Life & Casualty (
novel in stories; Permanent Press, 2005)

Author Site

Links to Sample Works

Current Title



Bowdoin College, B.A. magna cum laude.
University of Virginia School of Law, J.D.
American University, M.F.A., creative writing.

Subject Matter