20141114-131418-47658114.jpgArtist/writer Kelly McQuain is the author of VELVET RODEO, which won the 2013 Bloom Chapbook Prize, judged by poet C. Dale Young. The collection includes poems published in several national journals, including “Scrape the Velvet from Your Antlers”, which was nominated for a Pushcart Prize by the journal Kestrel. McQuain is a writer, artist and college professor now living in Philadelphia. He grew up in West Virginia surrounded by Monongahela National Forest, and his family back home still lives where they did when Kelly was born, on a dirt road bearing the family name.

As an artists, McQuain’s work has appeared as comics, book covers, illustrations and fine art, available here.

As a writer, McQuain’s poems have been featured in The Philadelphia Inquirer and on National Public Radio’s Tell Me More as part of National Poetry Month. His poems have also appeared in Bloom, Philadelphia Stories, Chelsea Station, Cleaver, Assaracus, Weave, Painted Bride Quarterly, Stone Highway Review, Press 1, American Writing, Texture, Black Heart Magazine, Knockout, Eleven Eleven, Certain Circuits, Apiary, and more. His prose has appeared in The Harrington Gay Men’s Fiction Quarterly, Kansas Quarterly/Arkansas Review, The James White Review and Icarus: the Magazine of Gay Speculative Fiction. His work has been anthologized in many publications, including: The Queer South; Rabbit Ears: TV Poems; Between: New Gay Poetry; Draw to Marvel: Poems from the Comic Books; Obsessed; Skin & Ink; Rebel Yell 2; Best American Erotica; Best Gay Erotica; Rough Trade; The Journal of Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Identity; and the Lambda Literary Award-winning Men on Men 2000. He is a former contributing editor to The Harrington Gay Men’s Fiction Quarterly and Art & Understanding (A&U). His honors include being named a Lambda Literary Fellow, a Tennessee Williams Scholar at the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and receiving numerous nominations for the Pushcart Prize, Best New Poets and Best of the Net. He has twice won writing fellowships from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and he now serves on the “One Book, One Philadelphia” Selection Committee in Philadelphia. Currently a professor of English at the Community College of Philadelphia, he formerly worked as an illustrator of superhero comics. His occasional columns on city life debuted in The Philadelphia Inquirer in July 2012.

You can study creative writing or literature with Professor McQuain at Community College of Philadelphia. Learn more at http://www.ccp.edu/site/academic/creativewriting/. McQuain holds an MA in Fiction from Temple University and an MFA in Drama and Communications/Creative Writing from the University of New Orleans. He attended Temple as an undergrad as well and also did a stint at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland.

McQuain sees education as a lifelong process and believes that travel teaches oneself about the world in a way that breaks down barriers and promotes understanding. To that end, he has participated in writing retreats in places as varied as Mexico, Prague, Madrid, Edinburgh and the south of France. He is an alumnus of the East-West Center in Honolulu, HI (2007), where he participated in the Asian Studies Development Program. More recently he was one of sixteen academics chosen by the East-West Center and the Chinese Ministry of Education to tour China’s historical landmarks and leading academic institutions (summer 2013). His other scholarly awards include being an NEH fellow in the Landmarks of American History and Culture Workshop (2011). His travels and academic research infuse his love teaching as well as his writing and art-making.



5 thoughts on “About

  1. Mr. McQuain: What a beautiful, colorful piece of work. I enjoyed reading it so much, I posted it on my facebook page. I can appreciate your talent as my daughter , Erin McWilliams, who teaches in the Oakland Public Schools is also a wonderful writer. She is a Berkeley grad with a degree in Scandinavian Studies. I told her she should have studied writing as she wanted to live in Sweden and spent last summer there working on an organic farm, trying to get a job. However, there were few hires, especially w/o a good command of the language. She plans to hitchike Canada next summer (she won’t listen to me) and maybe try to write a book. Now that I know of your work, I will be paying attention to your stories.

  2. > Date: Fri, 18 Jul 2014 16:01:54 -0400
    > Message-ID:
    > Subject: test from kelly
    > From: Kelly McQuain <>
    >Test message to see if this gets to you. I included a screenshot of the
    > photo that popped up when I added you to gmail….

    Why did you send me this message?… If you did not, then perhaps it is a malicious computer program on your system.

  3. My wife and I both love your cover art on the current Rattle (“Barn Owl with Lily”). Have you considered making prints/reproductions of your work available for sale?

    Also, one of our daughters spent a semester at the University of Aberdeen. Magical town, with its black granite and giant corvids (rooks? crows?) and seagulls.

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