Dina Peone

Dina Peone studied writing and theater at Sarah Lawrence before earning her MFA at the University of Iowa Nonfiction Writing Program (’18). As a graduate student, she began designing and teaching innovative nonfiction courses inspired by her liberal arts education and some of her earliest students nominated her to receive an Outstanding Teaching Award. She received fellowships to teach “master classes” in writing for PhD students from around the world, high school students from rural midwestern high schools, and undergraduates from private universities on both American coasts. Upon completion of her MFA, UIowa hired her as a Visiting Assistant Professor to teach the Nonfiction Writing Program’s first-ever online course. Simultaneously, she joined UChicago’s Program in Creative Writing as a part-time Lecturer. Dina teaches a broad range of nonfiction courses tailored to her students’ interests, all of which test the boundaries of the genre: beginning/advanced workshops, technical seminars, and thesis workshops. Her interests include the mercurial form of the essay; trauma narratives; disabled studies; queer studies; performance studies; coming-of-age stories; antiracist creative writing pedagogy; narrative psychology and philosophy. 

Dina has received numerous awards for her writing, including: The Lucy Grealy Prize for Poetry; a Writer-in-Residence Award at the Jack Kerouac House in Orlando, Florida; and a Pushcart nomination for her debut work of cultural criticism on Freddy Krueger. Her work has appeared in The Brooklyn Rail, Narratively, Bat City Review, Hippocampus Magazine and Books, The Lascaux Review, and others. In June 2020, legendary rock critic and founding reviews editor of Rolling Stone, Greil Marcus, featured Dina’s personal essay about her karaoke upbringing in the LA Review of Books, #6 in his time-honored culture column, “Real Life Rock Top Ten.” When she’s not writing for herself, she writes creative copy for Emmy award-winning directors at the next-gen production company, ArtClass.  

The founding editor of the Cliffhanger., a pocket-sized anthology devoted to the fragment, Dina is at work on her first book: a memoir about escaping a house fire with severe burns when she was a morbid teenager. As of the pandemic, she is also the creator of DEAR GHOSTFINGERS: an experimental advice column that uses literature and an otherworldly persona to address existential issues. 


Subject Area: Nonfiction