RS Deeren is an Advanced Opportunity Program Fellow, a 2019 Distinguished Graduate Student Fellow, and PhD Candidate at UW-Milwaukee. He received his MFA in 2017 from Columbia College Chicago. He was the 2016 Union League Club of Chicago Library's Writer in Residence and a 2015 Luminarts Cultural Foundation Creative Writing Fellow. His short story "Enough to Lose" has been anthologized in Tales of Two Americas edited by John Freeman. His fiction, nonfiction, and poetry appears in The Great Lakes Review, Midwestern Gothic, The Chicago Center for Literature and Photography's anthology, The View from Here, Cardinal Sins, and elsewhere. His short story, "Apres Moi le Deluge," won the 2012 Tyner Award for Writing Excellence. In Chicago, RS worked as a teaching assistant in CCC's "Big Chicago" freshman curriculum and in the College of Lake County's first year writing program. Before moving to Chicago then Milwaukee, RS lived and worked in rural Michigan as a line cook, a substitute teacher, a landscaper, a banker, and a lumberjack.
Hey there, this is RS. Thanks a ton for perusing my website and taking in some of the words I've put down over the years. I'm currently sitting on my couch in an Aaron Ward Red Wings Hockey jersey (the Wings this year have a weak defensive core so I'm wearing this jersey to summon good vibes for the team) thinking about what I should put down here for you, dear visitor.
Well, I'm originally from the Thumb Region of Michigan, a three-county peninsula on the state's Lower Peninsula. It's a geographic palimpsest, if you will. Recently, I walked down Randolph Street in Chicago with and old friend and he said, "I suppose you won't be coming back home, will you?" I didn't have an answer at the time but if I were a little quicker on my feet, I'd have told my friend that though I've lived in Chicago for a while now and nurtured a wonderful writing community here, small town Michigan (a city named Caro) will always be "home." As a writer, I believe that home is where the stories come from. It's the mine deep inside of you that you dig into to get the words and stories only you can write. I just moved into a new apartment on Milwaukee's East Side and the antlers from the two bucks I shot as a teenager are already mounted on the bookshelf.
The characters populating my stories are river people, farm people, women and men with their backs to the water and the outside world kept an hour's drive away. They are home, for better or worse, and as the 21st Century creeps in, they see that home is something that they need to carry with them. So, since my characters are all parts of me, I, too, am carrying home with me. In short, and in many ways, it's like I've never left.
Happy Reading, Happy Writing