Casey Pycior

Casey Pycior (Fiction) | Evansville, IN

Booking Fee:


Will Travel:




Casey Pycior (pronounced “Pitcher”) is the author of the short story collection, The Spoils (Switchgrass Books/NIU Press, 2017), and he was awarded the 2015 Charles Johnson Fiction Award at Crab Orchard Review. His work has appeared in Beloit Fiction Journal, Midwestern Gothic, Harpur Palate, Wigleaf, and Crab Orchard Review among many other places. He earned his MFA from Wichita State University and his PhD in creative writing from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He is currently an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Southern Indiana and serves as Fiction Editor of Southern Indiana Review.


The Spoils (Switchgrass Books / NIU Press, 2017). Short Stories. Fiction.

Blurbs, Press & Reviews

“I believe honesty and empathy are two of the main qualities fiction writers should always aim for in their work, and Casey Pycior achieves both on nearly every page of his tightly written and compulsively readable collection of stories, The Spoils. I admire them immensely.”
—Donald Ray Pollock, author of The Heavenly Table

The Spoils is a gritty and addictive debut, a wild ride of ill-fated grifts and characters attempting to shrug off their bad luck with even worse choices. Pycior’s stories crackle with wit and humanity and are an absolute pleasure.”
—John Jodzio, author of Knockout and If You Lived Here You’d Already Be Home

“Casey Pycior knows the ragtag and the misguided—those folks out here in the Heartland who struggle to make the right choices and with the consequences that result. The stories in The Spoils resonate with the complexity of the lived life. They find those moments where people are sometimes noble, sometimes adrift, sometimes imperfect, but always, always unforgettably human.”
—Lee Martin, author of The Bright Forever and Late One Night

“Casey Pycior’s collection The Spoils contains an achingly observed collection of characters, scrabbling for their dreams on the edges of the Great Plains. These strivers often leave blood and treachery in their wake, but Pycior’s strength is the intricate craftsmanship he employs to illuminate each soul. Think Tobias Wolff in Wichita, or William Trevor in Kansas City—but above all, read this book and discover its remarkable pleasures for yourself. I did, and I think The Spoils announces a thrilling new voice in American fiction.
—Whitney Terrell, author of The Good Lieutenant

“Casey Pycior’s debut collection, The Spoils, is one of the best I’ve read in a long time. In tough, unadorned prose, he captures the raw, attenuated lives of the men and women struggling to exist on the fringes of society, economically and socially, isolated as they are in the Midwest. Reminiscent of the best of early Hemingway in the way he examines and imparts depth and meaning to the small gestures of individuals who despite their efforts at connection in love, must continue to exist in the face of the disappointment and loss that is most often their fate. What moves the reader is Pycior’s ability to lay bare the most hidden dreams and elemental desires of his characters, lifting them with the delicate touch of a scalpel opening the chest to reveal the beating heart, partially ruined, but worthy of our care and attention.”
—Jonis Agee, author of The Bones of Paradise and The River Wife

“Casey Pycior’s engaging new story collection, The Spoils, will make you want to ‘come with,’ as we say in the Midwest. From an itinerant worker who only thinks the worst of his recent luck will be losing a finger to a basketball player poised to take down an institution, Pycior’s vibrant characters veer in unexpected, exciting directions. His stories are tenderly Midwestern—steeped in funny, idiosyncratic syncopations of dialogue and form—but never simple. These folks lead nuanced lives among the familiar landmarks of local gas stations and Hy-Vee stores and the historic tragedies of their towns. They’re often haunted by their children, but always seeking the courage to do the right thing by them and the waiting world. You should do the right thing, too, and read this impressive debut. Pycior’s a writer bound to stay on the Doppler.”
—Darren DeFrain, author of The Salt Palace

“If Russell Banks and Elmore Leonard took a long road trip together, brainstorming up a pile of short stories to pass the miles, they might have returned home with a collection like The Spoils. Bad luck, bad timing, bad decisions in cheap motel rooms—these are the building blocks of the toughest pulp fiction…and sometimes the stumbling blocks for Casey Pycior’s indelible, achingly human characters. The people in these stories are as real as we are, each of them somehow refreshingly unique yet utterly recognizable at the same time. Their everyday lives take outlandish turns through ordinary dramas. Their stories don’t conclude, they resonate. Bottom line: Pycior writes the kind of short stories I most want to read. I loved this book.”
—Sean Doolittle, author of The Cleanup and Lake Country

“Casey Pycior writes like he’s Ray Carver’s bastard son, lost in the Midwest, in the rundown industrial neighborhoods of Kansas City, in the farms outside Lincoln, Nebraska, on the front porches turning scoliotic with rot. Pycior writes a 21st-century form of dirty realism, where each Percocet is a hard blessing and even victory feels like a loss. I’d say this is a kick-ass collection, but The Spoils is too somber for that. This book will bum you out, leave you as spent as Pycior’s protagonists. If that doesn’t seem like praise, you better believe it is.”
—Daniel A. Hoyt, author of Then We Saw the Flames and This Book is Not For You

“These sharp, intuitive stories by Casey Pycior depict characters at key moments of realization—making for extraordinary moments of conflict and redemption. These are stories about good people who frequently fall just short of (or far from) their best behavior, and the tensions are at times heartbreaking and at times comic, and always startlingly, stunningly real.”
—Timothy Schaffert, author of The Swan Gondola

Love what we do? Take a second to support us on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!