Laura Valeri completed an MFA in creative writing at Florida International University. She earned her second MFA in fiction from the Iowa Writer’s Workshop. Her debut collection of short stories, The Kinds of Things Saints Do, won the John Simmons Award and was published while she was still completing her studies at Iowa. She is Associate Professor of Creative Writing and Pedagogy at Georgia Southern University and founded the literary journal Wraparound South. Mapping stories set in Europe and America, The Dead Still Here (Stephen F. Austin University Press) skillfully paces through eleven short stories about friends-with-benefits type relationships, vicious divorces and thievery, the loss of a child, the loss of a mother, and the Coast Guard and the Navy rescuing refugees from a bad storm at sea. This collection is at once provocative and lucid, and it offers various angles of characters looking for a relationship to hold.