Jonathan Escoffery’s family emigrated to the U.S. from Jamaica to escape the political violence that swept the island in the 1970’s. He was raised in Miami, where he received his undergraduate education. He graduated from FIU with his B.A. in English Literature. While attending high school and college, Jonathan worked as a dishwasher, a server, a loader in two separate warehouses, an overnight freight associate, an unlicensed physical therapist, a leasing agent, a (failed) life insurance salesman, and a night auditor.
Jonathan is the recipient of The Writers’ Room of Boston‘s 2017 Ivan Gold Fellowship, a 2017 Somerville Arts Council Artist Fellowship, and a 2017 Kimbilio Fiction Fellowship. His story, “In Flux,” was selected by Tiphanie Yanique to win the 2016 Waasnode Fiction Prize, and was subsequently nominated for a Pushcart Prize. About Jonathan’s stories, author Jennine Capó Crucet wrote, “I wanted to read more from this writer, as there’s an urgency to each piece that says ‘Hello, I am a true force.’”
Jonathan is a graduate of the University of Minnesota’s Creative Writing MFA Program (Fiction, class of 2014), where he was a DOVE Fellow. In 2014, he was a Fellow at The Anderson Center. He has taught classes in poetry, creative nonfiction, and fiction at the University of Minnesota, and at GrubStreet in Boston, where he is an instructor and writing consultant. Jonathan is currently the Writer-in-Residence at Wellspring House, a retreat for artists and writers in Western, MA.
Jonathan’s linked story collection examines a racially ambivalent Jamaican-American’s struggle to locate identity and home in Miami. His collection is represented by Renee Zuckerbrot at MMQLIT.
[Cover photo credit: E.B. Bartels]