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Deborah Larsen grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota, as Deborah Maertz. Her latest work, The Crossings (Berylline Press 2018-2019) blends fiction and nonfiction and is set in the U.S. borderlands. Deborah currently lives with her husband, David Cowan, near Madera Canyon in southern Arizona. 


An historical novel, The White (based on a true story from early America), was published by Alfred A. Knopf. It was a chosen book in western Pennsylvania for the “One Community Reads One Book” program. This book was also selected as one of two Main Selections for the Book of the Month Club.

Her memoir, The Tulip and the Pope (Knopf),  is an account of her years in an American convent in the 1960s.  Critic Maureen Corrigan chose it as one of her ten favorite books of 2005.

New Directions published her work of poetry, Stitching Porcelain. This is a book-length sequence of poems based on the life of Matteo Ricci, the Italian Jesuit who settled in China in 1583 and who remained there until his death in 1610.

Her poems and short stories have appeared in The Nation, The Yale Review, The Quarterly, Oxford Review, and The New Yorker, among other publications. She lists the 92nd Street Y, New York City, among her reading venues. 

Deborah is Professor Emerita at Gettysburg College where she taught writing in several genres; she also held the Merle S. Boyer Chair in Poetry. She has been a Wallace Stegner Fellow in Writing at Stanford and was in residence at Yale for three days as a Wallace Stevens Fellow. She lived near Oxford, England in 1980; while there, she recorded poetry for BBC Radio 3, London.