Tara Ison is the author of three novels: "The List" (Scribner), "A Child out of Alcatraz" (Faber & Faber), a Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and "Rockaway" (Counterpoint/Soft Skull Press), featured as one of the "Best Books of Summer" in O, The Oprah Magazine, July 2013. "Ball," a short story collection, was published in 2015, and her collection of essays, "Reeling Through Life: How I Learned to Live, Love, and Die at the Movies," was the 2015 PEN Southwest Book Award winner for Creative Nonfiction.
Her short fiction, essays, poetry and book reviews have appeared or are forthcoming in Tin House, Salon, Electric Literature, The Kenyon Review, The Rumpus, Nerve.com, Black Clock, TriQuarterly, The Mississippi Review, The Santa Monica Review, Publishers Weekly, The Week, LA Weekly, O, the Oprah Magazine, the Los Angeles Times Sunday Magazine and Book Review, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Chicago Tribune, the San Jose Mercury News, and numerous anthologies. She is also the co-writer of the cult film "Don’t Tell Mom The Babysitter’s Dead."
She is the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts in 2020 and 2008, several Yaddo fellowships, residencies at Hawthornden Castle in Scotland and the Cill Rialaig Arts Project in Ireland, a Rotary Foundation Scholarship for International Study, a COLA Individual Artists grant, Brandeis National Women's Committee Award, a Thurber House Fiction Writer-in-Residence Fellowship, the Simon Blattner Fellowship from Northwestern University, and a California Arts Council Artists' Fellowship Award.
Ison received her MFA in fiction and literature from Bennington College. She has taught fiction and screenwriting at Washington University in St. Louis, Northwestern University, Ohio State University, Goddard College, Antioch University, Umiversity of California, Riverside’s MFA Program in Creative Writing, and Bennington College. She is currently professor of fiction in Arizona State University’s creative writing program.