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Joe Kraus

Short stories. Essays. Novels.

Literary fiction, Noir, and Fantasy

On Gangsters, American Jews

& Hardboiled Heroes in unlikely places.


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The Kosher Capones

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The Kosher Capones:


"A Wizard of Odds"

in Dark Corners1.1

An Accidental Anarchist:

By Walter Roth & Joe Kraus

"Covered Bridges"

in Pulp Modern 10

In The Press

Selected On-Line Work

"My Mother is a Cat"

(Personal Essay) Under the Sun, 2019


(Essay/Short Story) Juked, 2019

"Sears & Roebuck"

(Short Story) Baltimore Review, 2018

"Personal Statement"

(Short Story) Plots with Guns, 2016

"An End Not of Hope But Horizon"

(Personal Essay) Hippocampus, 2015

"Streets of Stories"

(Autobiographical Fiction) Sugar Mule, 2012

"Seventeen Snowmen"

(Poem) Winner, Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Memorial Prize, 2004

"Everybody Should Have at Least One Disreputable Friend"

(Flash Fiction) Sleet Magazine, 2010


I am a professor of English at the University of Scranton, where I teach American literature and creative writing and direct the honors program. I live in Shavertown, PA with my wife and three sons.

It's true: My grandfather and his brothers were Jewish gangsters in Al Capone's Chicago. They didn't leave me any money, but I've been mining their stories and photos (like the above) for more than 25 years.

My creative work has appeared, among other places, in The American Scholar, RiverteethBirkensnake, Pulp Modern, and Dark Corners. I also won a 2004 Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Memorial Poetry prize, the 2007 Moment/Karma Foundation International Short Fiction Contest, and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2011 by Southern Humanities Review.

For my C.V. with a listing of all my creative and academic publications, click here.


For any inquiries, please contact me at krausj2[at]scranton[dot]edu

See my book review blog at

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