Denise Emanuel Clemen has worked as an art model, an au pair in Paris, a merchant of her own blood plasma, and as an assembly-line worker in a factory where she became expert at assembling toy manure spreaders. Her fiction and essays have been selected for  Human Parts on, in the anthology “Only Light Can Do That” (PEN Center USA) Berkeley Fiction Review, Superstition Review, Georgetown Review (including an honorable mention for their prize), Delmarva Review, New Plains Review, Sand Hill Review, Literary Mama, Under the Sun, and many others. She’s received fellowships to the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Vermont Studio Center, Ragdale Foundation, and was an Auvillar fellow in France in 2009. Denise has an MFA in creative writing from the University of Nebraska. Her memoir, “Birth Mother,” was published by SheBooks in 2014. She can be found online at http://leavingdivorceville and currently lives in Minneapolis where she’s learning to make and marble her own paper, bind books, and make zines. Since the beginning of the pandemic, she’s made more than 100 collages.

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Education and Training

University of Nebraska, M.F.A. in Creative Writing, 2010

UCLA Extension Writers’ Program, 2005-2008

College of St. Benedict, St. Joseph, Minnesota, B.A. in Humanities & Theater Arts, 1974

Fellowships & Awards

Pushcarts Prize nominations in 2020 and 2022

Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Spring 2008, Fall 2008, Spring 2011, Fall 2017

Vermont Studio Center, February 2009, March 2018

Semi-Finalist, River Teeth, 2018

Semi-Finalist, Penelope Niven Non-Fiction Award/Salem Center for Women Writers, 2011

Astra Writing in Greece with Meredith Hall, 2009 & 2010

Squaw Valley Writers, 2006 & 2010

The Ragdale Foundation, November 2009

Auvillar Fellow: Moulin á Nef, France Fall 2009

Tin House Conference with Abigail Thomas, 2007

Georgetown Review Prize, honorable mention, Spring 2006

American Pen Women Prize, honorable mention, 2006

 Stories and Essays

Under the Sun, Spring 2021 & 2020 & 2022 (Pushcart nominations in 2020 &2022) ; The Revolution, November 2019; Lumina Magazine, 2018, Superstition Review, 2016; Serving House Journal, 2016; Berkeley Fiction Review, 2016; Sand Hill Review, 2016; Escape, short-short in Only Light Can Do That, Pen Center USA, 2016; My Face in the Darkness, essay in Mothering Through the Darkness, She Writes Press, 2015; Knee Jerk, August 2014; Fiction Fix, Fall, 2014; Chagrin River Review, Fall 2014; Delmarva Review, Fall 2014, New Plains Review; Fall 2014; Work Magazine, July 2011; The Rattling Wall, Spring, 2011; Holding Him Softly, essay in Dream of Things Anthology, Saying Goodbye, 2010; The Mom Egg, Fall 2009 & Spring 2010; Literary Mama, February 2009; Two Hawks Quarterly, November 2008; The Georgetown Review, Spring 2006


Birth Mother, Shebooks, 2014

Experience other than writing

Present                  advanced certificate program at Minnesota Center for Book Arts

2019-2020               internship at Cave Paper, Minneapolis

2011-2012               literacy and writing tutor, Downtown Women’s Center, L.A.

2011-2012               Dog walker, San Gabriel Valley, CA Humane Society

2006-2008               Mentor, Write Girl, Los Angeles