Biography

Frank X. Gaspar


Frank X. Gaspar was born and raised in the old Portuguese West End of Provincetown, Massachusetts.  A graduate of the MFA program in writing at the University of California, Irvine, he is the author of five collections of poetry and two novels.  Among his many awards are the Morse, Anhinga, and Brittingham Prizes for poetry, multiple inclusions in Best American Poetry, four Pushcart Prizes, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Literature, and a California Arts Council Fellowship in poetry. He was also a John Atherton Fellow at Bread Loaf, and a Walter Dakin Fellow at Sewanee. His debut novel, Leaving Pico was a Barnes and Noble Discovery Prize winner, a recipient of the California Book Award for First Fiction and a New York Times Notable Book (paperback edition).  His second novel Stealing Fatima was a MassBook of the Year in Fiction (Massachusetts Foundation for the Book).

His work has appeared widely in magazines and literary journals, including The New Yorker, The Nation, The Harvard Review, The Hudson Review, The Kenyon Review, The Georgia Review, The American Poetry Review, The Southern Review, Prairie Schooner, The Tampa Review, Miramar, and others. He has held the Helio and Amelia Pedrosa/Luso-American Foundation Endowed Chair at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, and more recently was named the 2016 Ferrol A. Sams Distinguished Chair, Writer in Residence at Mercer University. He teaches in the MFA Writing Program at Pacific University, Oregon, and is currently at work on a new collection of poems and a new novel.

A number of Frank’s books treat Luso-American themes or settings, particularly the Portuguese community in Provincetown, with an insider’s view of the rich ethnic base of this famously diverse Cape Cod town. His paternal grandparents immigrated from the Island of San Miguel, and his maternal grandparents from the Island of Pico, both in the Azorean Archipelago. His ancestors were traditionally whalers and Grand-Banks fishermen, sailing out of the Islands and then Provincetown. Frank, himself, went to sea with the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War.  His poetry and fiction have received numerous awards and honors, and serious critical attention both in Portugal and in the United States.