Mary Cappello is the author of five books of literary nonfiction, including Awkward: A Detour (Bellevue Literary Press, 2007), a Los Angeles Times bestseller; Swallow (The New Press, 2011), based on the Chevalier Jackson Foreign Body Collection in Philadelphia’s Mütter Museum; and the mood fantasia Life Breaks In: A Mood Almanack (Univ. of Chicago Press, 2016). 

Her work has been featured in The New York Times,, The Huffington Post, on NPR, in guest author blogs for PowellsBooks, and appears in such journals as Cabinet Magazine, The Georgia Review, and Salmagundi. She has performed her work in venues ranging from the Smithsonian Institution to the Velaslavasay Panorama, from Brooklyn’s Observatory and U/Penn’s Grand Rounds in Otorhinolaryngology, to more recent collaboratively created “mood rooms.” A Guggenheim and Berlin Prize Fellow, a recipient of the Dorothea Lange/Paul Taylor Prize from Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies, and the Bechtel Prize for Educating the Imagination from Teachers and Writers Collaborative, Cappello is a former Fulbright lecturer at the Gorky Literary Institute (Moscow, Russia) and currently Professor of English and creative writing at the University of Rhode Island.