Gary L. McDowell was born and raised in suburban Chicago. He earned a BA in English from Northern Illinois University and an MFA in Poetry from Bowling Green State University. He is the author of Weeping at a Stranger's Funeral (Dream Horse Press, forthcoming) and American Amen (Dream Horse Press, 2010), winner of the 2009 Orphic Prize in Poetry. He's also the author of two chapbooks, They Speak of Fruit (Cooper Dillon, 2009) and The Blueprint (Pudding House, 2005) and co-editor, with F. Daniel Rzicznek, of The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Prose Poetry: Contemporary Poets in Discussion and Practice (Rose Metal Press, 2010). His poems, essays, and reviews have appeared in journals such as Bellingham Review, Colorado Review, Indiana Review, Laurel Review, Mid-American Review, New England Review, Ninth Letter, Poetry Daily, Third Coast, Quarterly West, and Verse Daily, among others. He was also recently awarded the 2010 Editor's Prize from Minnetonka Review for his group of three poems published in Issue #6. He recently earned his Ph.D. in American Literature and Contemporary Poetry at Western Michigan University. He now lives in Antioch, TN with his family where he is an Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing at Belmont University in Nashville, TN.