Erica Cavanagh grew up in Rochester, New York, and served in the Peace Corps in Benin. She is a graduate of Iowa’s Nonfiction Writing Program, where she was awarded an Iowa Arts Fellowship. Her nonfiction has appeared in The Missouri Review, North American Review, Gastronomica, Bellevue Literary Review, Off Assignment, and others. She is writing a memoir about the years she lived in Benin that explores the forms of isolation Beninese females experience and the isolating childhood that inspired her to work with vulnerable women and children in the first place. Erica is the recipient of the Ruth Murray Prize, the Missouri Review’s Editor’s Prize, a Mid Atlantic Arts Fellowship, and a Pushcart nomination. In June of 2016 she was an artist in residence at the Millay Colony for the Arts. She teaches nonfiction writing, African American literature, and food studies at James Madison University and lives in Virginia with her husband, daughter, and two Maine coon cats.
Photo by Rosie Grant