Cleo Qian (she/her) is a fiction writer and poet from California. She received her MFA from NYU. Her work has appeared in over 20 outlets; was a winner of the Zoetrope: All Story Short Fiction Competition; has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, twice longlisted for the DISQUIET Prize, and supported by Sundress Academy for the Arts. By day, she works at a nonprofit and reads self-help articles on how to be happy.

She is a member of the poetry and performance collective Egocircus. Her other interests, past and present, have included video poetry, clothes and identity expression, melodramas, horror movies, martial arts, and the handmade Internet culture of Web 1.0.

Her debut short story collection, LET’S GO LET’S GO LET’S GO, is forthcoming from Tin House in 2023.

Photo by Casper Yen.


“The Omen” — The Margins 
“Monitor World”   — Shenandoah (see: author’s note)
“We Were There”  — Witness
“Seagull Village” — Pleiades (Pushcart Prize nominee)
“The Virtuoso”  — Hyphen
“Wild Oranges” — 
The Common


“[My grandfather walked in the snow]”  Four Way Review
“Locheequat”  — The Margins
“How to Read Poetry While Drinking Monster Alone in a Dimly Lit Cubicle” — Okay Donkey

“Fires”  — Zocalo Public Square
“Divining Poem for A Quarantine Night”  Bitter Melon 
“A Girl On the Shore”  b l u s h
“Two Poems”  — Wax Nine
“Dispatch from Hiroshima” — Glass: A Journal of Poetry
“Strawberries”  — The Florida Review


“As borders closed, I became trapped in my Americanness” — The Long Read at the Guardian (audio version)
“Headbanging in Japan: Visual kei then and now” — Gay
“Ophelia and After: Inventing the Lonely Literary Woman” — Lit Hub


“A Cold Season” by Jin Yucheng (Mandarin to English) — Asymptote
“6 NYC-Based Asian Tattoo Artists Evolving Tattoo Culture” —  Vogue