icon caret-left icon caret-right instagram pinterest linkedin facebook twitter goodreads question-circle facebook circle twitter circle linkedin circle instagram circle goodreads circle pinterest circle


STEPHEN O'CONNOR is the author of six books: Quasimode, a poetry collection; Thomas Jefferson Dreams of Sally Hemings, a novel; two short story collections: Here Comes Another Lesson and Rescue; two works of nonfiction: Will My Name Be Shouted Out?, a memoir about his creative writing students at a New York City public school, and Orphan Trains, a history of a controversial 19th century child welfare effort. He has published more than fifty short stories in such places as The New Yorker, Harper's, Best American Short Stories, Conjunctions, The New England Review and The Quarterly. His story, "Ziggurat," was read by Tim Curry on Selected Shorts. His poems have appeared in Poetry, Agni, The Beloit Poetry Journal, Conjunctions and elsewhere, and his nonfiction has been published in The New York Times, The Nation, Agni, The Boston Globe, among other places. He teaches in the Sarah Lawrence writing program.



March 2024 Quasimode, Ennistymon, Ireland: Salmon Poetry Press (poetry collection)


April 2016 Thomas Jefferson Dreams of Sally Hemings, New York: Viking (novel)
* Paperback to be published May 2017
* Notable Book for 2016, The Washington Post

* Crook's Corner Book Prize 2017 for best debut novel

* Featured in "Hippest Books of 2016" video by The Washington Post

* Best Books of 2016, NPR

* Best Book of 2016, The Seattle Times

* Best Book of 2016, The Charlotte Observer

* Center for Fiction longlist for best novel of 2016

August 2010 Here Comes Another Lesson, New York: Free Press (short fiction)
* Named a Best Book of 2010 by Time Out Chicago
* Named one of Ten Best Books of 2010 by Washington City Paper

February 2001 Orphan Trains; The Story of Charles Loring Brace and the Children He
Saved and Failed, New York: Houghton Mifflin (nonfiction)
Paperback: Chicago: University of Chicago Press
* Book of the Month Club alternate selection
* Named 2001 best book on the roots of juvenile crime by the National
Council on Crime and Delinquency

April 1996 Will My Name Be Shouted Out?, New York: Simon & Schuster (memoir)
Paperback: Touchstone
* Named 1996 "Book of the Year" by Kappa Delta Pi, an education honor

June 1989 Rescue, New York: Harmony Books (short stories and poetry)


Forthcoming "Absolute Zero," Conjunctions


October 18, 2023 "Nothing is Really What it Is," Conjunctions Online


May 2023 "Wind and Rain," StoryQuarterly


May 2022 "Believers," Conjunctions Online


February 2020 "The Interpretation of Dreams," Harper's


December 2018 "Coyotes," Conjunctions


June 2018 "It Will Destroy You," Slice


November 2017 "Little Rooms," Conjunctions


August 26, 2017 "Prisoner Dialogue No. 2; An Excerpt from THOMAS JEFFERSON DREAMS OF SALLY

HEMINGS," 7x7: "Against White Supremacy"

November 2016 “Five Fragments from THOMAS JEFFERSON DREAMS OF SALLY HEMINGS, a Novel,” The Manhattan Review

Forthcoming “The End of the End of the World,” Conjunctions

March 31, 2016 “So I Built a Little World,” 7x7

February 2015 “My Dreams Would Seem so Close,” Guernica

May 2014 “The Zip,” Conjunctions: 62

May 2014 “Con,” The Common

January 2014 “Excerpts from HUMAN EVENTS,” Electric Literature: Recommended Reading

May 2013 “Ghost,” The Literary Review

May 2013 “Next to Nothing,” Conjunctions: 60
*Chosen by Jennifer Egan for Best American Short Stories 2014

February 2013 “Decoherence,” Black Clock: 16

December 2012 “We Want So Much to Be Ourselves,” New England Review

April 2012 “Double Life,” The Common

April 2012 “I Would Never Do these Things,” Conjunctions

March 2012 “Another Nice Mess,” One Story

September 2011 “The Final Frontier,” Black Clock

Winter 2010-11 “’Til There Was You,” Conjunctions

Winter 2010 “Sawed-in-Half Girl,” Antioch Review

October 2009 “Love,” Electric Literature

June 29, 2009 “Ziggurat,” The New Yorker
* “Ziggurat” was read by Tim Curry at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles on March 26, 2011, and broadcast on SELECTED SHORTS during the 2011-12 season, and in new a new lineup, with an author interview in 2013.
* Read by author on KQED San Francisco, “The Writers Block”


October 2021 "Not Here," Peripheries


June 2019 "Five Laments For Our Good Earth (Invented Planet, Chain, Occurrence, Confidence

Man, And)" Conjunctions/Online


November 2016 "Eternal Return," 7x7 Responds to U.S. Election 2016



October 2014 "Off on a Comet," "Now and Again," and "Brass Ring," No Tokens


May 2014 “As Long as He Knows You Love Him,” in Gresko, Brian, ed. When I First Held You, New York: Berkeley Books
* Republished in Passions of a Man, ed. Amatneek, Bill, Vineyard Press, Forthcoming.

November 2012 “Against Assessment,” in Beck, Heather, ed. Teaching Creative Writing in Higher Education: Anglo-American Perspectives, London: Palgrave Macmillan

October 2012 “Above the Lake,” Beloit Poetry Journal
* Featured on Verse Daily, January 7, 2013

October 2010 “Things Just Come,” “Not Yet,” Agni

June 2009 “What Next?” “Sweet Nothing,” Green Mountains Review

July/August 2008 “Biology,” Poetry

Winter 2008 “Uz,” “Song of Songs,” “Promises,” “Idolatry,” “Eternal Return,” “Dust and
Ashes.” Missouri Review

Fall 2007 “Milosz’s Choice; An Investigation of Sentimentality,” AGNI
* Received “Special Mention” in Pushcart Prize XXXIII (2009)


2002-Present Guest Faculty
Sarah Lawrence College MFA, Bronxville, N.Y.

2002-2014 Adjunct Associate Professor
Columbia University School of the Arts/Writing (MFA), New York, NY

1978 University of California, Berkeley, MA in English Literature

1974 Columbia Univeristy, BA in English Literature