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About

L.J. Sysko is the author of two books of poems, including her debut full-length collection THE DAUGHTER OF MAN, selected by poet Patricia Smith for the Miller Williams Poetry Series (University of Arkansas Press, 2023). The book is “goddam funny” and “a clinic in irony” (Ross Gay); “this whip-smart collection is a playful celebration of feminine power” (Publishers Weekly); “The Daughter of Man is an exquisite dance in which form, function, image, and metaphor shape a discernible allegory … that tickled [the reviewer’s] jealous g-spot” (Compulsive Reader); and, according to The Colorado Review, Sysko is “a valley girl Beowulf.”

Sysko’s poems have been anthologized in BEST NEW POETS and LET ME SAY THIS and have appeared in literary journals such as Ploughshares, The Missouri Review’s “Poem of the Week,” Tupelo Quarterly, and Mississippi Review, among others. Sysko holds an MFA in poetry from New England College where she studied with Gerald Stern, Maxine Kumin, F.D. Reeve, and Anne Marie Macari, among others; Sysko is a three-time Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg honoree, a two-time Delaware Division of the Arts Fellow, a Virginia Center for the Creative Arts Fellow, and a Palm Beach Poetry Festival “Thomas Lux Scholar.”

A prose author, too, Sysko’s nonfiction was The Georgia Review inaugural Prose Prize finalist, selected by judge Jennine Capó Crucet and published in the journal’s Summer 2023 issue; her prose has also been recognized by Zoetrope’s All Story, judged by novelist Anthony Marra; The Bellingham Review Annie Dillard Award for Creative Nonfiction; and The Pinch Literary Awards.

Sysko was a high school English teacher and department chair for fourteen years, but since 2021, she has written professionally for Delaware State University President Tony Allen in the role of Director of Executive Communications. She lives and works in Wilmington, Delaware.