Ivelisse was born in Arecibo, Puerto Rico 🇵🇷and raised in Holyoke, MA. She is currently the Visiting Scholar at the University of Missouri—St. Louis, where she teaches fiction in the MFA program.
Her debut short story collection is Love War Stories (The Feminist Press, 2018), a 2019 PEN/Faulkner finalist and a 2018 Foreword Reviews INDIES finalist. She has published fiction in the Boston Review, All about Skin: Short Fiction by Women of Color, Obsidian, Kweli, the Bilingual Review, Aster(ix), and other publications. She is the founder and editor of an interview series focused on contemporary Puerto Rican writers in order to highlight the current status and the continuity of a Puerto Rican literary tradition from the continental US that spans over a century. The series is published in Centro Voices, the e-magazine of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College.
She was a senior fiction editor at Kweli and is a Kimbilio fellow and a VONA/Voices alum. She is currently working on the novel The Last Salsa Singer about 70s era salsa musicians in Puerto Rico. She earned an M.F.A. in creative writing from Emerson College and a Ph.D. in English-creative writing from the University of Illinois at Chicago