Mark L. Keats was born in South Korea, adopted at the age of three, and raised in Maryland. He earned his AA from Howard Community College, BA and MFA from the University of Maryland, College Park, and PhD from Texas Tech University. He has received fellowships from Texas Tech University, Kundiman, and The Martha's Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing. His novel Loud and Mute Birds was a finalist for the Dzanc Books Prize for Fiction and made the longlist for the First Pages Prize. Recently, his fiction has been named a semifinalist in The World's Best Short-Short Story Contest judged by Robert Olen Butler and an honorable mention in The Texas Observer Short Story Contest judged by Bryan Washington. His work is forthcoming in the museum of americana, Puerto del Sol and Portland Review. He currently lives in the Pacific Northwest with his wife and dog.