Spencer Wise was born in the North Shore of Massachusetts where people give directions relative to Dunkin’ Donuts franchises (ie. Two Dunks down the road, turn left, at the next Dunks, bang a right).
After attending Tufts University, he did community organizing in the South End. Then he followed a girlfriend to New York and worked at Time Out NY and Sports Illustrated for a number of years and kept writing stories. One of them he showed to his close friend at the Tavern on Jane, who set the story down and said, “You know, you don’t have to be a writer.” Scarred but undeterred, Wise returned to graduate school in creative writing at the University of Texas at Austin, finally earning a Ph.D. at Florida State University. He’s now an Assistant Professor at Augusta University in Georgia . He lives with his brilliant partner who rocked a beret with leopard trim for most of her childhood. Unsurprisingly, they have two cats.
His debut novel, The Emperor of Shoes (HarperCollins/Hanover Square Press), came out in fall 2018. He comes from a long line of shoemakers dating back many generations to the shtetls in Poland. To research the book, Wise lived at a dormitory in a shoe factory in South China where the novel takes place.
His fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry can be found in journals such as Narrative Magazine, Gulf Coast, The Cincinnati Review, The Literary Review, and The New Ohio Review.
He has been awarded the Gulf Coast Prize in nonfiction and fellowships to the Vermont Writer Studio and Napa Valley Writer’s Conference.