Michelle Lerner

Michelle Lerner is a multi-faceted talent whose journey has traversed the fields of law, poetry, and now fiction. She began her academic career at Princeton University, where she graduated summa cum laude in 1993 with an AB in Anthropology. She continued her education at Harvard Law School, earning her JD magna cum laude in 1998. Not one to rest on her laurels, Michelle also acquired an MFA in Poetry from The New School in 2008.

She worked diligently for over twenty years as a public interest lawyer. Her life took an unforeseen detour when she was diagnosed with the neurological form of Lyme Disease, putting her on a multi-year path to recovery. This challenging period became a crucible for her creative transformation. Unable to continue her law career, she delved into fiction, writing her debut novel “Ring.” The book, slated for publication next year, incorporates her personal experience with chronic illness, although it ventures into realms of imagination she never explored in her legal briefs or her poetry.

Michelle has received numerous accolades for her work across different mediums. Notable among these are her quarterfinalist position in the ScreenCraft Cinematic Book Competition 2023, being a finalist for multiple fiction prizes including the 2020 Book Pipeline Unpublished Contest, and being longlisted for various awards such as the Dzanc Prize for Fiction. Her poetry manuscripts have also earned her a semi-finalist spot for the Pamet River Prize and Willow Run Poetry Book Award.

In the world of poetry, Michelle’s work has been published in numerous journals like the Virginia Quarterly Review, Connecticut River Review, and LIPS. Her poetry chapbook “Protection” was published by Poetry Box and one of its poems received a Pushcart Prize nomination. She’s also had the honor of being nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best New Poets for other poems.

Michelle’s commitment to community is evident in her service roles. She currently serves as the Executive Director and Board Member of the Laura Boss Poetry Foundation. She also mentors for the organization “We Are Not Numbers,” providing guidance to young writers.