Marlena Chertock

Author's Bio

Marlena Chertock has two books of poetry, Crumb-sized (Unnamed Press, 2017) and On that one-way trip to Mars (Bottlecap Press, 2016). She was born with a rare bone disorder, and uses her skeletal dysplasia and chronic pain as a bridge to scientific poetry. Marlena often explores the rich images in science and medicine, threading genetics, space, and nature into her work. She is the Poetry Editor for District Lit. Her poems and short stories have appeared or are forthcoming in The Deaf Poets Society, Dear Robot: An Anthology of Epistolary Science Fiction, The Fem, Paper Darts, and Wordgathering. Find her at or @mchertock.

Publications and Prizes

Cactus Heart, Little Patuxent Review, Medical Literary Messenger, Paper Darts, Straight Forward, The Fem
Prizes Won: 
“On that one-way trip to Mars” was nominated for a 2017 Elgin Award; First Place in the 2013 Jiménez-Porter Literary Prize Poetry Contest for “An invisible middle”

More Information

Listed as: 
Gives readings: 
Travels for readings: 
Identifies as: 
Caucasian, Disabled, Feminist, G/L/B/T, Jewish
Fluent in: 
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Last updated: Jun 12, 2017