Hilary Plum

Fiction & Nonfiction | Cleveland State University
Gif of the various faces of Hilary Plum


Phone | (216) 687-3923
Email | h.plum@csuohio.edu
Website | www.hilaryplum.com

Recent Publications


Strawberry Fields. Winner of the Fence Modern Prize in Prose, Fence Books, April 2018, Novel.
Watchfires. Awarded the 2018 Great Lakes College Association New Writers Award for Creative Nonfiction. Rescue Press, November 2016, book-length essay.
They Dragged Them Through the Streets. Fiction Collective 2 (FC2), an imprint of the University of Alabama Press, March 2013, Novel.


“Work, or the Swet Shop Boys.” Granta, September 2020, Essay.
“‘I planted the sun in the middle of the sky like a flag’: In and of Etel Adnan’s Arab Apocalypse.” College Literature, July 2020, Article.
“Room after Room in The Report.” Los Angeles Review of Books, February 2020, Review.  
“The Novel at the End of the World: An Inquiry.” Writer’s Notebook, November 2019, Essay.
"Strawberry Fields." Wrath-Bearing Tree, July 2018, Novel Excerpt.
“Alice.” Fanzine, April 2018, Novel Excerpt.
“Narrating Forgetting.” Brooklyn Rail, September 2018, Essay.
“Strawberries.” The Spectacle, Spring 2016, Short Story.

About Hilary

Hilary Plum is the author of the novel Strawberry Fields (2018), winner of the Fence Modern Prize in Prose; the work of nonfiction Watchfires (2016), winner of the 2018 GLCA New Writers Award; and the novel They Dragged Them Through the Streets (2013). She has worked for a number of years as an editor of international literature, history, and politics. With Zach Savich she edits the Open Prose Series at Rescue Press. Recent poetry, prose, and criticism have appeared or are forthcoming in the Brooklyn RailCollege LiteraturePoetry NorthwestWest BranchFull StopMississippi ReviewLARB, and elsewhere. 

She teaches creative writing at Cleveland State University and in the NEOMFA program. She is Associate Director of the CSU Poetry Center, where she organizes the Lighthouse Reading Series and the NEOMFA Writers at Work Colloquium.

Where did you grow up?

New England, variously.

What is one of your favorite places in Cleveland?

Lakeview Cemetery, in the evening as you try to get to the gate before it closes. Mac’s Backs Books on Coventry. In the Syrian Cultural Garden when the roses are out. By the breakwater along Lake Erie when feral cats emerge from the rocks.

How do you respond when someone challenges the role of the MFA in creative writing?

The MFA offers an opportunity for sustained, engaged reading and writing: the committed practice of literature. This is of especial value in a culture that prefers the demands of production, distraction from the workings of power, and the confining sense of individualism from which reading liberates us. MFAs aren’t perfect institutions, and they’re not the only way to read and write rigorously. But they help nourish the work of literature, benefiting us all.

In two sentences or less what does the NEOMFA mean to you?

I’m new to the program and very excited to join the NEOMFA, a site of energetic and dedicated literary practice in Northeast Ohio. I believe in what the program can offer students, writers, readers, teachers, publishers, booksellers, and the larger community.

What’s on your nightstand right now?

In winter 2018/2019, I find myself thinking, talking, and writing about Caren Beilin’s Spain, Leni Zumas’s Red Clocks, Hassan Blasim’s The Corpse Exhibition (trans. Jonathan Wright), Hosam Aboul-Ela’s Domestications: American Empire, Literary Culture, and the Postcolonial Lens, Jenny Erpenbeck’s Go Went Gone (trans. Susan Bernofsky), Lindsay Turner’s Songs & Ballads, Omar El Akkad’s American War, Roy Scranton’s We’re Doomed: Now What?, Ghayath Almadhoun’s Adrenalin (trans. Catherine Cobham), John Keene’s Counternarratives, Svetlana Alexievich’s Voices from Chernobyl (trans. Keith Gessen), Brian Blanchfield’s Proxies, the detective fiction of Tana French, Arthur Frank’s The Wounded Storyteller: Body, Illness, and Ethics

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English Department
Cleveland State University
2121 Euclid Ave., RT 1815
Cleveland, Ohio  44115