- writer -
Darci Schummer hails from the village of Fall Creek, Wisconsin. Primarily a fiction writer, she is the author of the story collection Six Months in the Midwest (Unsolicited Press), co-author of the poetry/prose collaboration Hinge (broadcraft press), and author of the forthcoming novel The Ballad of Two Sisters (Unsolicited Press). Her fiction, poetry, and essays have appeared in Ninth Letter, Folio, Jet Fuel Review, MAYDAY, Matchbook, Necessary Fiction, Sundog Lit, and Pithead Chapel, among many other places. She has been nominated both for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net, and her work has also been selected as a Longform Fiction Pick of the Week. In addition to writing, she teaches at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College where she serves as faculty editor of The Thunderbird Review. She lives with her partner Tanner, pitbull Turnip, and cat Cokie Roberts in a big old house that always needs work.
About Six Months in the Midwest
In the dark heart of winter, a young boy struggles to understand his mother’s failing health as she teaches him Polish, the language of her dead mother. From a distance, a frustrated English professor dines with her mentally ill ex-husband in a park on which a mansion once stood. A single mother struggles to let go as her teenage son seeks his independence. A drag queen and his partner battle a snow storm while debating the future of their relationship. A retired garbage collector finds solace in the ballet, and the owner of a liquor store tries to find companionship on the streets and in the bars of Minneapolis. Equal parts bitterness and beauty, the sixteen stories in this collection are plotted snapshots of a city in its most unforgiving season.
"In this ambitious debut collection, Darci Schummer inhabits the secret houses of the lost and lonely in the often-overlooked Midwest. Truthful, wise, gifted with empathy and imagination in equal measures--this is a writer to read."
- Sheila O'Connor, author of Where No Gods Came and Evidence of V
"Darci Schummer's Six Months in the Midwest is a potently observed portrait of Minneapolis, an ode to its peculiarities and its characters. Many people call the Midwest 'flyover country,' but the clarity and humanity in Schummer's sixteen stories will make them want to land."
- John Jodzio, author of If You Lived Here You'd Already Be Home and Knockout
"Schummer's gift is her deeply felt yet fiercely unsentimental portraits of human beings who struggle to understand their choices and their fates."
- Deborah Keenan, author of From Tiger to Prayer, so she had the world, and 10 other collections
About The Ballad of Two Sisters
At the center of The Ballad of Two Sisters (forthcoming from Unsolicited Press in August 2023) are Stella and Helen, sisters who die on the same day. Struggling to overcome a tumultuous and abusive childhood, the sisters search for connection and certainty in an uncertain world. Intermingled with the stories of these women are those of Stella's husband Gerald, son Jesse, and The Mortician who prepares the women's bodies for burial. Though at times circuitous, the paths the sisters travel ultimately lead them back to each other, until finally, they can never be parted.
"A rich and absorbing read, Darci Schummer’s story of sisters Stella and Helen – one fragile and one strong – is a double helix of individual and very different lives bound by love and blood, spiraling from their difficult childhood through jobs, marriage, children, and aging. What a lovely book of broken, revitalized, and beautiful hearts."
-Linda LeGarde Grover, author of In the Night of Memory
"A dark and haunting family saga, The Ballad of Two Sisters spirals around identity with details that pull you hard into the smallness of Midwest America. Schummer’s writing is emotional and her storytelling gets deep into your head, making you forget you’re reading. She’s dreamy and eclectic and smooth and easy. Time spent with this book will certainly enrich your life."
-Raki Kopernik, author of The Things You Left and The Memory House
"Ghost Story" - Sundog Lit
"The Swan of Lake Eola" - Jellyfish Review
"Another Life" - Heavy Feather Review
"Artifact" - Atticus Review
"To Dust We Return" - MAYDAY
"The Veil" - Ninth Letter
News & Events
January 14, 2023
Darci has been selected as the 2023 Artist-in-Residence for the LaPointe Center for the Arts in La Pointe, Wisconsin, on Madeline Island.
Darci's essay "The Grammar of Tragedy" is forthcoming in Thimble Literary Magazine this spring, and her novel The Ballad of Two Sisters is forthcoming from Unsolicited Press in August 2023.