Author Profile: Stuart Dybek is a second generation Polish-American writer of poetry and short fiction.

Name: Stuart Dybek


1980 – Childhood and Other Neighborhoods

1990 – The Coast of Chicago

2003 – I Sailed with Magellan

2004 – Streets in Their Own Ink

2014 – Ecstatic Cahoots: Fifty Short Stories

Background: Stuart Dybek was born on 10th April 1942 in Chicago, Illinois, United States. He is 78 years old. His parents are Stanley Dybek and Adeline Sala Dybek. Stuart Dybek grew up in the Little Village of Chicago in the 1950s and in the Pilsen neighbourhoods in the early 1960s. In the year 1959, he graduated from St. Rita of Cascia High School (1959).  He got his MFA degree from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa (1973). He has received an MA in Literature from the Loyola University Chicago (1968).

Stuart has taught at the Western Michigan University for more than 3 decades where he continues to be a permanent faculty member of the Prague Summer Program and an Adjunct Professor of English.

Stuart Dybek teaches at the School of Professional Studies where he became the Distinguished Writer in Residence at the Northwestern University.

Genre: Stuart Dybek’s genre is literary fiction.

Literary Contributions: Stuart Dybek has won the PEN/Malamud Award (1995), the Rea Award for the Short Story, a Lannan Prize, a Whiting Award (1985), an O.Henry Award, a Guggenheim fellowship and a MacArthur Fellowship on 25th September 2007.

Unique Stylistic Features: Carl Sandburg, Nelson Algren and Saul Bellow have had a major influence on the life of Stuart Dybek. Stuart Dybek portrays landscapes and settings in such a way that many times he is compared to Theodore Dreiser and Saul Bellow. Amongst writers belonging to Polish descent, Stuart Dybek is one of the first writers to write about the ethnic self and attain recognition in the nation.

Brass Knuckles (1979) and Streets in Their Own Ink (2004) are the two poem collections of Dybek. His fiction includes, I Sailed With Magellan, The Coast of Chicago, Childhood and Other Neighborhoods. The Coast of Chicago is one of his most notable works.

His novel-in-stories include Ecstatic Cahoots: Fifty Short Stories and Paper Lantern: Love Stories. Magazines such as Atlantic Monthly, Harper’s, Triquarterly, Tin House, The New Yorker and Ploughshares have featured and anthologized Stuart Dybek’s work.

The New York Times has selected his collection, The Coast of Chicago and cited it as an American Library Association Notable Book of 2005.

The 2004 Best American Short Stories features the story from I Sailed With Magellan, with the title ‘Breasts’.