William Orem
Newton, MA
William Orem is a multiple award-winning writer of short stories, novels, poetry, and plays.

William Orem writes about spiritual quest and philosophical questions. He is a Maryland native currently living outside Boston.

His first collection of stories, Zombi, You My Love, won the GLCA New Writers Award, formerly given to Louise Erdrich, Sherman Alexie, Richard Ford and Alice Munro. His second collection, Across the River, won the Texas Review Novella Prize. His first novel, Killer of Crying Deer, won the Eric Hoffer Award for Excellence in the Small Presses, and has been optioned for film. His second novel, Miss Lucy, won the Gival Press Novel Award; Kirkus listed it as one of the Best Books of 2019. His first collection of poems, Our Purpose in Speaking, won the Wheelbarrow Books Poetry Prize and was published by MSU Press. It also won the Rubery International Book Award in poetry and was chosen Book of the Year. He has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize four times, in poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction. 

Meanwhile, his short plays have been performed internationally, winning both the Critics’ Prize and Audience Favorite Award at Durango Theatre Fest, the Mazumdar New Plays Award, and thrice being nominated for the prestigious Heideman Award at Actors Theatre of Louisville.

Currently he is a Senior Writer-in-Residence at Emerson College. Details at williamorem.com.


In 1863, a Union lighthouse keeper conceals a Confederate deserter in the Watch Room of his lighthouse. Over the course of a week, both men must face the truth about what they are hiding from.

David Lutheran as Shadfield; Brendan Muhlern as Leance (2012)