Elizabeth Poliner

Elizabeth Poliner

Her novel, As Close to Us as Breathing, captured the 2017 Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize. In May 2017, the book was named a finalist for the 2017 Library of Virginia People’s Choice Award. Last November, As Close to Us as Breathing was selected as one of Amazon’s Top 100 Editors’ Picks for 2016 and was an Amazon Spotlight Pick in Fiction for March of that year.

She is also the author of Mutual Life & Casualty, a novel in stories, and What You Know in Your Hands, a poetry collection. Her stories and poems have been published in literary journals nationwide, and her awards include numerous individual artist grants from the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities, fiction fellowships to the Wesleyan and Sewanee writer’s conferences, and artist residencies at the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, the Wurlitzer Foundation, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.

Courses Taught

  • Graduate Tutorial in Fiction
  • Advanced Seminar in Creative Writing,
  • Advanced Seminar in Fiction Technique
  • Intermediate Creative Writing


  • M.F.A., American University
  • J.D., University of Virginia
  • A.B., Bowdoin College


Areas of Expertise:

  • Creative Writing (Fiction and Poetry)