Self-portrait in a funicular, Koblenz, Germany

Self-portrait in a funicular, Koblenz, Germany

I am Jenny Drai.

I'm the author of several books of poetry including The History Worker, just out from Black Lawrence Press, Wine Dark (also from Black Lawrence Press), and [ the door ] (Trembling Pillow Press). My poetry chapbooks include The New Sorrow Is Less Than the Old Sorrow (Black Lawrence Press) and :Body Wolf: (Horse Less Press). 

I also write literary fiction and recently won the 2017 Gail B. Crump Prize in Experimental Fiction from Pleiades Magazine. An earlier novella, Letters to Quince, was awarded the Deerbird Novella Prize and published by Artistically Declined Press. My work has also been published at OmniVerse.

I've recently completed a novel that uses the Beowulf epic as a starting point to examine how toxic masculinity is harmful to both men and women.

I'm currently working on a collection of short stories that uses fairy tales, literature, and history as ways for my characters to temper the large and small indignities of daily life. I'm also interested in portraying the dailiness of mental illness.

In addition, I write book reviews. Reviews I've written have been published at Anomaly, Rain Taxi, Mary, and The Poetry Question.

I've lived all over the place, in both the US and Germany, and have worked all sorts of odd jobs. I studied literature and foreign languages at Beloit College, and I have an MFA in Creative Writing from Saint Mary's College of California. I currently work as a translator, copywriter, and English teacher.

I'm an amateur shutterbug, a cooking, television, travel, and swimming enthusiast (though not at the same time), a history buff (especially dark age and medieval history), a friend to all cats, a wearer of weird socks, and, above all else, a reader. In fact, I am inspired to write, most of all, by what I read.


All photos on this website were taken by me, unless otherwise noted, for better or for worse.