Leslie Anne Mcilroy believes in poetry as a way of life — not in an academic way, but in an eating, breathing, living way. She first experienced poetry that mattered as a student of Jim Daniels at Carnegie Mellon University in 1982. At that time, she very much over-wrote a lot of sentimental, angry crap. Then she found concrete images.
Following graduation, she bartended some 10 years, as English majors are wont to do, and finally began writing again. She found herself lucky enough to workshop with Pittsburgh’s best, including Jan Beatty. With what seems like magic now, she won the 1997 Slipstream Poetry Chapbook Prize for her chapbook Gravel and shortly after, the 2001 Word Press Poetry Prize for her full-length collection Rare Space. She also took first place in the 1997 Chicago Literary Awards Competition judged by Gerald Stern. Then she had a baby and lost her foot on the ladder to poetry popularity.
Her second full-length book, Liquid Like This, was published by Word Press in 2008. Today Leslie is seeking a publisher for her 3rd full-length book and focusing on publishing individual poems in journals she admires like Connotation Press, Dogwood, Jubilat, The Mississippi Review, New Ohio Review, Nimrod International Journal of Prose & Poetry, PANK and Pearl. Leslie is also Managing and Poetry Editor of HEArt — Human Equity through Art — the nation’s only journal of literature and art devoted to fighting discrimination and promoting social justice — and works as a copywriter in Pittsburgh, PA, where she lives with her daughter Silas. For more: lamcilroy.org.