Claire Donato
b. 1986 in Wilmington, DE
Grew up in and around Pittsburgh, PA
Lives in Brooklyn, NY
Author of Kind Mirrors, Ugly Ghosts (Archway Editions), Burial (Tarpaulin Sky Press), The Second Body (Poor Claudia), Woebegone (Theaphora Editions) & Someone Else's Body (Cannibal Books)
Virgo, Aquarius rising, Capricorn moon
Usually wears glasses

Five-Paragraph Bio:

I am a writer and multidisciplinary artist thinking about animals, architecture, climate crisis, love, the ocean, pedagogy, psychoanalysis, suffering, and synesthesia.

As a young millennial, I received an MFA in Literary Arts from Brown University, where I studied writing across genres and won the John Hawkes Prize in Fiction (judged by Robert Coover) for my novella Burial, which was published by Tarpaulin Sky Press. Prior to attending Brown, I received a BA (summa cum laude) from the University of Pittsburgh. My second book and first full-length collection of poems, The Second Body, was published by Poor Claudia in 2016, and sold out its only print run in one month. My first major publication in a decade, Kind Mirrors, Ugly Ghosts—a collection of short fictions—is forthcoming from Archway Editions in October 2023. A new chapbook of poems, Woebegone, is forthcoming from Theaphora Editions with an accompanying video game. I am at work on The Buddhists, a novel about watered-down spirituality in the key of Thomas Bernard's Woodcutters and Clarion, a novel about growing up in western Pennsylvania that's also a formal study of Harmony Korine's Gummo.

Some dead things that are alive in me are my first language (French) and my Catholic ancestry. I practice Zen meditation and live with ~50 houseplants. Until September 2020, I lived with a cat named Brix (RIP). Now I live with a cat named Woebegone, who is not named after a lake but rather after sadness. A couple of years ago, I returned to the DIY practices of my early twenties: illustration and writing songs.

Currently, I am Assistant Chairperson of Writing at Pratt Institute, where I am concurrently an Adjunct Associate Professor in the BFA and MFA Writing Programs. In 2020, I received Pratt's all-campus Distinguished Teacher Award, an honor conferred by the Academic Senate, administration, and Board of Trustees for which I was nominated by the student body. I have also taught courses at The Cooper Union, Parsons (The New School for Design), Brown University, Fordham University, and 826 NYC, and was a Digital Studies Center Fellow at Rutgers University. As of Spring 2023, I study psychoanalysis part-time at Pulsion: The International Institute of Psychoanalysis and Psychoanalytic Psychosomatics.

In sum, I've been practicing yoga since I was 16 and can often be found 1) cooking vegetables, watering plants, listening to records; 2) running middle-to-long distances; or 3) lost without a mask in the funhouse.