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, Joyland, Midwestern Gothic, and elsewhere. Before moving to Portland, Oregon, he studied in Chicago then Milwaukee. Before that, he 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 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. Now that I live in the Pacific Northwest, I wonder what the distance from the Midwest will do for me and my writing.
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