Sasha Debevec-McKenney


Sasha Debevec-McKenney is a poet, restaurant worker, and aspiring American presidential historian. She was born and raised in Hartford, Connecticut, and her first foray into poetry as a teenager was, fittingly, composing love poems for POTUSes past and present. She graduated from Beloit College in Rock County, Wisconsin, in 2013 and then earned her Master of Fine Arts from New York University, where she was the 2018 Rona Jaffe Fellow. Debevec-McKenney then returned to the Midwest to serve as the 2020-2021 Jay C. and Ruth Halls Poetry Fellow at the University of Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing. In December 2021, she was engaged as the artist-in-residence at the cooperative work environment StartingBlock Madison in partnership with local creative commission Dane Arts, making the city of Madison the base for her effort to transition from poetry to nonfiction writing in the future. Debevec-McKenney’s work has appeared in The Yale Review, TriQuarterly, and the New Yorker, where her poem “Kaepernick” was published in November 2021. She also recently edited and contributed to That’s So Me: Self-ish Mix, the second installment of a zine of poetry, prose, and visual art produced by Peach Mag. Her work draws on various aspects of her own life, riffing with honesty and humor on everything from her experience as a Black woman living in the Midwest to her musings on food and relationships. She enjoys working in restaurants as a sure way of intimately engaging with and observing others, and finds the myriad quick interactions inspirational for her writing. Debevec-McKenney lives and works in Madison, Wisconsin.