Jonathan Escoffery’s family emigrated to the U.S. from Jamaica to escape the political violence that transformed the island in the 1970’s. He was raised in Miami, where he attended FIU and earned his B.A. in English Literature. While attending high school and college, Jonathan worked as a janitor, a dishwasher, a server, a loader in two separate warehouses, a licensed forklift operator, an unlicensed physical therapist, a (failed) life insurance salesman, a leasing agent for a low-income, elderly housing community, and a night auditor on a private island for the rich and sometimes famous, sometimes infamous.
Jonathan is the recipient of a 2019 Aspen Words Emerging Writer Fellowship, a 2018 Glenna Luschei Prairie Schooner Award, a 2018 Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference Work-study Scholarship, 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 Waasnode Fiction Prize, and was subsequently nominated for a Pushcart Prize and selected as a Distinguished story in The Best American Short Stories 2018. About Jonathan’s novel in stories, author Jennine Capó Crucet wrote, “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 and a fellow in the Community of Scholars program. 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 Ashfield, MA. This fall he will begin as a doctoral candidate in the University of Southern California’s Creative Writing and Literature program, as a Provost Fellow.
Follow Jonathan on twitter @J_Escoffery
[Cover photo credit: E.B. Bartels]