About Alina Stefanescu

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Alina Stefanescu was born in Romania and lives in Birmingham, Alabama. A finalist for the 2019 Kurt Brown AWP Prize, the 2019 Greg Grummer Poetry Prize, the 2019 Frank McCourt Prize, and the 2019 Streetlight Magazine Poetry Contest, Alina won the 2019 River Heron Poetry Prize.

A multiple Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee, her first poetry chapbook, Objects in Vases (Anchor & Plume Press, 2016) won the 2016 Award for Poetry Book of the Year from ASPS. Her debut fiction collection, Every Mask I Tried On, won the Brighthorse Prize and was published in May 2018. Her writing can be found in diverse journals, including Prairie Schooner, North American Review, FLOCK, Southern Humanities Review, Crab Creek Review, Up the Staircase Quarterly, Virga, Whale Road Review, and others.

She serves as Poetry Editor for Pidgeonholes, President of Alabama State Poetry Society, Board Member for the Alabama Writer's Conclave, Co-Founder of 100,000 Poets for Change Birmingham, and proud board member of Magic City Poetry Festival. Her poetry collection, Defect/or, was a finalist for 2015 Robert Dana Poetry Award. She was a poetry contributor at Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference 2019—and she is so grateful. She loves to collaborate across mediums.


But for real: Alina is an Avid Tree-Hugger; Indivisible Stalagmite; Woman in Pajamas Raising Her Fist and Screaming at Folks Who Drive Too Fast Down the Neighborhood Street; Snowflake Who Burns Down the House. She hopes to be the poem she wants to read in the world.


 "Appeasement is an exercise in bad faith..."
(Maudlin House)

"I am fascinated by socialization, behavioral economics, epistemology, neuroscience, cultural conventions, religious fundamentalism, and bounded rationality. I cannot muster a solid line between the intimate and the political."
(Interview with Rob McLennan)


"I maintain a collection of talismans against the evil eye."    


"Even sunlight in a scrapyard is tainted by the industry of what we want from it; or the way in which fantasies create expectations."    
(Noble Gas Quarterly)


"I'm that crazy woman you see who keeps whipping out a notebook to scribble as her kids choreograph rain dances in public parks."     
(Driftwood Press)


"My first encounter with poetry is in the Romanian language... In America we really have the ability to write as intense a poem as we want and I think I am grateful for that and I participate in it."
(Present Tense Podcast)


"As a human, you learn from the sore places. As a writer, the scars are a seam through which poetry emerges. So love is paramount— love is the penultimate precipice."
(Daily Poet)


"Though we like to pretend we are a nation of nonconformists, I think watching our children tells a different story. Herd mentalities cover everything from fashion and fitness (think about the latest trending diet/exercise craze) to sports."
(Speaking of Marvels)


"What part of “I” is mine? And why? What does integrity mean for amnesiacs? These are questions which fiction allows me to explore as a girl who has been forged from a distance."
(Change Seven)


"You are the anxious mother of three American children who express selective preferences about chicken nuggets brands."
(Mutha Magazine


"It’s a gruesome thing– not the writing, but publishing. You already feel naked (you laid it out on paper) and then you have to pretend you know what you’re talking about to convince people to look at you naked. The contortions are indirectly related to cricks in the neck. Today, I am poultry. But then I write."
(Survey Time Quarterly)


… that to put myself on the line to do what had to be done at any place and time was so difficult, yet absolutely crucial, and not to do so was the most awful death. And putting yourself on the line is like killing a piece of yourself, in the sense that you have to kill, end, destroy something familiar and dependable, so that something new can come, in ourselves, in our world. And that sense of writing at the edge, out of urgency, not because you choose it but because you have to, that sense of survival — that’s what the poem is out of, as well as the pain… Once you live any piece of your vision it opens you to a constant onslaught. Of necessities, of horrors, but of wonders too, of possibilities.  
— [audre lorde to adrienne rich]