Cynthia Arrieu-King, Ph.D.

poet, writer and educator

01.06.2019   - 30.06.2019

Cynthia Arrieu-King (US) is a poet, writer and an associate professor of creative writing at Stockton University in New Jersey. Raised in Louisville Kentucky USA, King has lived in France and has traveled Europe, the United States, and China.

Arrieu-King has been writing short stories centered on life in her hometown of Louisville for the past 10 years. Influenced by the artistically and politically progressive nature of a partly Southern state with a strong geographical racial divide, Arrieu-King’s stories ask questions about what strangers and/or solitude can provide, considering visions of the past not just from one’s own side but from several perspectives.

As the artist explains,

I tune into the uncomfortable sound between what people tell themselves and what actually is. I therefore show in my work the tension of disparities between many things: translations of the same text, histories as written by different cultures, languages branching from the same old language, one deceased person recalled by multiple family members, disparate notions of the future, etc.

With my art I want to use metaphors to highlight the process of communal meaning making and all its difficulties. I hope my heart helps people dispel illusions about reality, especially when it comes to ethical responsibility and ideas of complicity.

Cynthia Arrieu-King, Artist’s Statement


As a short story fiction writer, Arrieu-King has published work about manifestations of trauma, including the aftermath that come with violence and complicity in war. Her stories sometimes include historical events from World War II and the aftermath of the generations on both sides that must understand how to live with complicity in violence.

King hold a Ph.D. in 20th Century American Literature from the University of Cincinnati, an M.F.A. in Poetry from the University of Pittsburgh, a B.A. in English and French from the University of Louisville, and completed Foreign study at the University of Montpellier, in Montpellier, France.

She is the author of three books of poems: People are Tiny in Paintings of China (Octopus Books 2010), Manifest (Switchback Books 2013), and Futureless Languages (Radiator Press 2018). Her poems have appeared in Poetry Magazine, Bomb Magazine, and the tiny, among other journals. She has written a collaborative book of poems with Ariana-Sophia Kartsonis, By Some Miracle a Year Lousy with Meteors (Dream Horse Press 2016) and one with the late Hillary Gravendyk, Unlikely Conditions (1913 Press 2017). She edited Hillary Gravendyk’s posthumous book of poems The Soluble Hour (Omnidawn Books 2018) and also edited the anthology-length Asian Anglophone issue of dusie.

Individual short fiction works include “Roads Impassable,” (StorySouth, Spring 2017);“Franny,” (Joyland, Spring 2015); and “Boxes,” (The Collagist, Spring 2015). Her work appears in Anthologies such as Who Speaks for America? (Stephanie Feldman and Nathaniel Popkin eds., Temple University Press, 2018) and They Said: Collaborative Anthology (Upstate New York: Black Lawrence Press, 2017). King has also been Guest Editor of Action, Spectacle (Summer 2018), The Soluble Hour (San Francisco: Omnidawn Press, 2017), and the Asian-Anglophone issue of Dusie Magazine (Fall 2016).

King’s work has been recognized through numerous awards and grants, twice receiving the Research and Development grant from Stockton College (2010 – 2011). King was a 2018 Finalist in the Cleveland State University Poetry Centre for Continuity, a 2017 Finalist for the Tarpaulin Prize Book Contest with The Betweens, Nominated for a PEW Fellow for the Arts prize in 2016, and a Semi-finalist for the LetterMachine Poetry Prize in 2015. among many other accolades. Reviews of her work have appeared Spoke Too Soon (Spring 2016), The Denver Quarterly (Winter 2014), and articles in The Conversant. (August 2016), The Collagist (June 2016) and Delirious Hem (May 2010)

She has participated in numerous residencies internationally as well as throughout her home country of the United States. Most recently these have included a 2017 and 2018 Gullkistan Artist Residency in Iceland, 2015 Platte Clove Artist Residency in New York State, and 2013 Squaw Valley Writers Retreat in California.

Cynthia Arrieu-King used her time at SomoS to complete two short stories.

More Information:

Cynthia Arrieu-King’s Blog
Poetry Foundation Profile
Bomb Magazine – Three Poems by Cynthia Arrieu-King