Monica Macansantos is a former James A. Michener Fellow for Fiction and Poetry at the University of Texas at Austin, where she earned her MFA in Writing. She also holds a PhD in English and Creative Writing from the Victoria University of Wellington, International Institute of Modern Letters. Her debut collection of stories about Filipinos at home and in the diaspora, Love and Other Rituals, is out from the University of Melbourne's Grattan Street Press.
Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Colorado Review, The Hopkins Review, Bennington Review, The Masters Review, Electric Literature, Literary Hub, and Katherine Mansfield and Children (Edinburgh University Press), among other places. Her work has been recognized as Notable in the Best American Essays 2022 and the Best American Essays 2016, and has received finalist and honorable mention citations from the Glimmer Train Fiction Open. Her work has also been translated into Czech (Kuřata v hadí kleci: Prague, Argo Press, 2020) and Spanish (Arbolarium, Antologia Poetica de los Cinco Continentes: Bogota, Colegio Bilingüe José Max León, 2019).
She has received fellowships and scholarships from the Michener Center for Writers, Hedgebrook, the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, the I-Park Foundation, Storyknife Writers Retreat, Moriumius (Japan), the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, and the International Institute of Modern Letters.
Her completed manuscripts also include a collection of essays entitled Returning to My Father's Kitchen about grief, home, and belonging, and a novel entitled People We Trust about three young people who come of age in Marcos-era Philippines. She is currently working on a second novel, entitled Marian and Anja, about two childhood friends navigating the in-betweenness of their cultural identities in '90s Philippines and 2010s Austin, as well as a second story collection about Filipinos at home, in the US, and in New Zealand. She has lived in Delaware, Texas, the Philippines, and New Zealand, and loves tango, cooking, swimming, and birds. She also loves writing about her late father, the poet Francis C. Macansantos, from whom she inherited her love of writing, laughter, and life.
At the I-Park Foundation in Connecticut, November 2021. Photo credit: Lydia Blaisdell