Hilary Plum

Fiction & Creative Nonfiction | Cleveland State University
Image of Hilary Plum


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

Recent Publications


Excisions. Black Lawrence Press, 2023. Poetry collection.
Hole Studies. Fonograf Editions, 2022. Essay collection.
Strawberry Fields. Winner of the Fence Modern Prize in Prose. Fence Books, 2018. Novel.
Watchfires. Awarded the 2018 Great Lakes College Association New Writers Award for Creative Nonfiction. Rescue Press, 2016. Essay.
They Dragged Them Through the Streets. FC2, 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 (she/her) is the author of five books, including Excisions (2023), a volume of poetry; Hole Studies (2022), an essay collection; and the novel Strawberry Fields (2018), which won the Fence Modern Prize in Prose. She teaches at Cleveland State and in the NEOMFA Program and serves as associate director of the CSU Poetry Center. She co-hosts the podcast Index for Continuance on small press publishing, politics, and practice, and she co-edits the Open Prose Series at Rescue Press. Recent work has appeared in the Los Angeles Review of BooksGranta, the Massachusetts Review, the Cleveland Review of Books, and elsewhere. 

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?

The NEOMFA is a site of energy, promise, engagement, and community here in Northeast Ohio, supporting regional writers and writing and connecting us to the endless realms of literature. 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?

So far in 2022, I’ve been loving reading and rereading Free Clean Fill Dirt by Caryl Pagel, The Complete Stories by Clarice Lispector (trans. Katrina Dodson), PMS by Dot Devota, These Trees, Those Leaves, This Flower, That Fruit by Hayan Charara, Revenge of the Scapegoat by Caren Beilin, Sink by Joseph Earl Thomas, Minor Detail by Adania Shibli (trans. Elisabeth Jaquette), Say Nothing by Patrick Radden Keefe, Voices from Chernobyl by Svetlana Alexievich (trans. Keith Gessen), and more I’m surely forgetting... I’m looking forward much to reading Maafa by Harmony Holiday, a new book of stories by Robin McLean out this fall, Our Dark Academia by Adrienne Raphel, and whatever’s next from detective novelists Denise Mina and Tana French…