Debbie Urbanski writes speculative prose or “fantastical realism” intertwining the supernatural with everyday reality to bring about worlds on the page that evoke both strangeness and otherness as well as the thoroughly recognizable, commonplace, and uncomfortable aspects of domesticity, marriage, motherhood, and community. Recently she has also begun experimenting with the potential of the horror genre and how it intersects with autobiography as a reflection of our deeper selves, inner mental states, and sexuality. Her nominator writes, “These are striking personal stories, but they draw on larger, societal concerns, like the hastening destruction of our environment, the recent national wave of xenophobia, or the newly shifting senses of identity and sexuality.”
Urbanski’s stories have appeared or are forthcoming in The Sun, Conjunctions, The Southern Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Gulf Coast, among others, and she has been anthologized in Best American Experimental Writing 2020 and Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2017. She received her B.A. from Carleton College and her M.F.A. from Syracuse University. She plans to use her Writer’s Award to pay for child care over the next year in order to focus on completing her collection, The Ravishers and Other Memoirs, and her first novel, The Transitionists. Urbanski is the co-owner of Boxcar Press, a letterpress print shop. She lives with her family in Syracuse, New York.