About Naomi Benaron

I am a fiction writer and a poet. My short story collection, Love Letters from a Fat Man, won the 2006 Sharat Chandra Prize for Fiction. You can read my short stories and poems in journals including Hayden’s Ferry Review, Comstock Review, Spillway Journal, Crab Orchard Review, and New Letters, among others. I have an MFA in fiction from Antioch University Los Angeles.

I am a teacher. I have taught at Pima Community College, through UCLA Extension Writers’ Program, through The Learning Curve, a community-based education program, and I have mentored Afghan women through AWWP, the Afghan Women’s Writing Project, an online group where Afghan women can express themselves in safety and in freedom.

My first career was as a scientist. For many years, I worked as a seismologist and geophysicist for companies including Mobil Oil and a consulting company for GPS receivers. I spoke computer until the languages got away from me. I have degrees from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Scripps Institution of Oceanography. I have never been cured of my love for rocks and waves – seismic, light, or oceanic. Like light, I consider myself both particle and wave.

I am a dog human. I had a Walker Hound named Scout and a Queensland Heeler named JillyRoo who accompanied me through many years and miles of marathon training. Sadly, they have now passed on, but my two rescue coonhounds, Buster and MayBelle, still grace the neighborhood with their morning howls. They own me. Give me two minutes, and I’ll show you their pictures. Yes – they’re on my phone. No – their bark is not my ringtone.

I am a marathon runner and an Ironman triathlete. Speed is a thing of the past, but I still train. I will always train; it’s in my blood as much as eating, breathing, writing. My best lines come to me when I am in motion. I will never win the Boston Marathon, but if I can run it one more time, I will be happy. I grew up 2 miles from mile 16 on the marathon course. We used to watch when I was young; I didn’t realize those runners were human. I never dreamed I would run it one day, my father standing probably on our old footsteps yelling, “That’s my daughter! Look at her go!”

I wish they could see me now, my mother and my father. They’d be saying that same thing: “That’s my daughter! Look at her go!”

PHOTO BY ERIK HINOTE

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