Discipline: Literature – fiction

Jenessa Abrams

Discipline: Literature – fiction
Region: New York, NY
MacDowell Fellowships: 2017

Jenessa Abrams is a writer, literary translator, and practitioner of Narrative Medicine. Her fiction, literary criticism, and creative non-fiction have appeared in publications such as The Atlantic, Electric Literature, Eater, The Rumpus, BOMB Magazine, The New York Times, and anthologies including Off Assignment’s Letter to a Stranger (Algonquin, 2022). She has been awarded fellowships and grants from the National Book Critics Circle, MacDowell, The New York Public Library, the Ucross Foundation, the Norman Mailer Center, the Vermont Studio Center, and Columbia University, where she earned her MFA in fiction and literary translation.

Abrams is a member of the National Book Critics Circle and a 2023 NBCC Emerging Critic Fellow. She serves on the Advisory Board of Off Assignment, a magazine of literary travel writing, and on the Board of Directors of New Neighbors Partnership, a New York-based non-profit that helps newly arrived refugees connect to local community resources.

Following her Master of Fine Arts degree, she earned a Master of Science in Narrative Medicine at Columbia University. She now teaches writing in the program. Currently, she is a Features Writer at Tasting Table and a reviewer for Kirkus Reviews. She is represented by Annie DeWitt of The Shipman Agency.

Abrams completed her debut short story collection while at MacDowell. It explores the intersection of grief and identity. Stories from the collection have been published in Tin House Online, Washington Square, and elsewhere, and have been nominated for the 2017 PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers. She also shot footage for an experimental short film on loneliness and violence.



Jenessa Abrams worked in the Sorosis studio.

Sorosis Studio was funded by the New York Carol Club of Sorosis. The small, masonry studio was designed by F. Winsor, Jr., the architect who also designed Savidge Library (1926) and Mixter Studio (1927). At the time of construction, the large porch on the southeast façade offered a spectacular mountain view that has since been obscured…

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