Allison Vrbova

County: Whatcom County




Grants for Artist Projects (GAP) 2023
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Allison Vrbova is a writer and editor who lives in Bellingham with her husband, two children, two cats, and one unruly garden. She holds an MFA in creative nonfiction writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and her work has appeared in numerous national literary journals, including Fourth Genre, Under the Gum Tree, Green Mountains Review, Forth River, and Hunger Mountain. She also holds a BA in Human Services from Western Washington University and spent the first decade of her career as a caseworker for adults experiencing chronic homelessness in downtown Seattle, a subject she explores often in her work. Whether she is writing about school shootings, labor pains, mental illness, or mundane household chores, Allison’s essays seek to uncover beauty in the most unexpected places. Her current work-in-progress, a full-length essay collection titled She Would Leave Her Heart, is an exploration of mothering, in all its forms, and ultimately a treatise on the depths and limitations of the human heart. In a series of lyric essays, she takes readers from a drug-ridden halfway house in Seattle to a mid-century monastery in the French countryside, from a one-room schoolhouse in rural Montana to a holding cell at a juvenile detention center, all the while asking: How do we—individually and collectively—reckon with the deep, bodily need to keep our loved ones safe in a world that offers us no such guarantees?

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Allison Vrbova | Drunken Boat Issue 19