Rene Steinke is a novelist and a poet. She is the author of The Fires: A Novel and most recently Holy Skirts, a novel based on the life of the Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven. Holy Skirts was a finalist for the 2005 National Book Award.
Steinke holds a BA from Valparaiso University, an MFA from the University of Virginia, and a PhD in English from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. An early draft of The Fires served as her doctoral dissertation. She holds an associate professorship at Fairleigh Dickinson University, in whose MFA program she currently teaches. She also teaches at Columbia University. Until 2007, Steinke was Editor in Ch