top of page

Elissa Minor

Writer. Editor. Teacher.

Elissa Minor lives in Portland and Oceanside, Oregon. She teaches college writing and literature, and publishes fiction and nonfiction in national literary magazines and anthologies. Her short story collection, The Prisoner Pear: Stories From the Lake, was a New York Times Editor’s Choice pick.

She is currently working on a memoir that explores the intersection of queer theory, nature, and the deconstruction of purity culture/high control religion. When she isn't writing, Elissa can be found with her wife, kids, and two dogs bundled up on a rainy Oregon beach.

  • Instagram

Elissa's Instagram


From Elissa's memoir-in-progress:

The instruction came from the tide. When the ocean water started spilling into the bay, it brought with it a shoal of small silvery fish, and one after another the pelicans took wing and hovered above the swirling water; they dove and twisted and disappeared head first below the surface, only to bob back up, their long beaks pointed skyward. In one quick motion, they expelled the excess water from their throat pouches and swallowed the fish whole before returning to the sky to repeat the process. It was a veritable feeding frenzy. I wondered how the pelicans knew to come to this exact bay at this exact time in this exact month. What pull inside them knew the tides? 

I’d felt it, too. That pull. Like an internal clock telling me to get up and move, to follow the tide, to find the thing that will sustain me. To leave a religion, to leave a heterosexual marriage. It brought me here, to this coastal town, to the bed where I found Katie waiting, night after night.


An Essay

The hills to the south of our house were burning. We saw the fire over a distant ridge, the sky a viscous, irradiated orange, and felt everything but the crackling heat itself.


Flames have the curves of a woman, soft and fluid around their edges.

I’d already lit a match, months earlier—the sky still blue, the air still clear. I am a lesbian, I’d finally said aloud to my husband of twenty-three years and my three teenaged children. We waited to see where the sparks would land.

Wild Forest Fires
The Prisoner Pear: Stories From the Lake

The Prisoner Pear was published by Ohio University Press/Swallow Press. It was a New York Times Editor’s Choice pick for short fiction.

"In 12 efficient, accomplished stories inspired by snippets from the Lake Oswego, Ore., police blotter, Rust takes a magnifying glass to affluent suburban life in the Pacific Northwest. This is a fine portrait of privileged lives, in all their mundanity and weirdness."

                       --from Publishers Weekly

The Umpire Calls "Time"

An Essay

It's the calling of “Time” that sets my world on fire. Light failure. Complete light failure. The tumor in my dad’s brain wins, and he dies on July 20, 2007 at just fifty-seven years old. I am holding his hand, crowded around his bedside with my mom and my brothers, and in the same hour that he lets out his final breath, unbeknownst to us, the Cubs beat the Diamondbacks 6-2 at Wrigley Field. A day game. A grass field.

Image by Jose Francisco Morales
Prisoner Pear
Essay: The Umpire Calls "Time"
Contact Elissa
  • Instagram

Thanks for submitting!

bottom of page