Michael Backus

Pen Name:



Memoir, Literary Fiction



Social Media:

Twitter (@MikeJBackus)
Instagram: michaeljbackus


Michael Backus is the author of the novel The Vanishing Point (Cactus Moon Books) and the chapbook Coney on the Moon (Redbird Chapbooks). His short stories and nonfiction have appeared in One Story, Okey Panky, Channel, Parhelion Literary Review, Jellyfish Review, Cleaver, Digging Through the Fat, Oyster River Pages, Prime Number, and Exquisite Corpse. He teaches creative writing for Gotham Writer’s Workshop and Zoetrope Magazine and lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Articles/Essays/Short Stories

For a look at Michael’s short works, go to Stories and Articles on his website.


Title: The Vanishing Point
Publisher: Cactus Moon Publications (2021)

The vanishing point—when the only way to the future is through the past…

The Vanishing Point is about disappearance, trauma and memory, and the possibilities of redemption through a great American road trip and a peek into a mid-western childhood. It is a meditation on Karma and the way we lose and find ourselves over and over again. How did Henry Dolan end up here, heading to Santa Fe, New Mexico? The one place in the world he swore he would never set foot in again—the town where he lost his wife and daughter nearly a decade ago. Maybe it’s the eleven pounds of high-grade weed in the trunk of his car that he can’t sell anywhere else. Maybe it is something much deeper. It is time for him to finally meet his daughter and reckon with the harm he caused. Cadence, now ten, helps Henry open his long locked-away heart, exposing the wounds he has kept concealed. In healing, he finds a mysterious connection between his daughter and his own tragic childhood…

“Michael’s book is a poignant story with which many an adult can relate. How many times have we had to wade through a murky past in order to move forward with a clearer future? I know this book struck a chord with me. A must-read for anyone looking to move through their past to the future.” ~ Lily Gianna Woodmansee, Executive Editor for Cactus Moon Publications, LLC

Available for Sale


Title: Coney on the Moon
Publisher: Redbird Chapbooks (2017)

Based on his mother’s recollections of the night she had to run from her home in the hills to search for help for her own dying mother, Michael Backus’ Coney on the Moon brings the Kentucky countryside of the mid twentieth century to vivid, startling life. Seen through the eyes of a strong but terrified young girl, it is a land full of local eccentrics, native legends, and half believers in ghosts. This heartbreaking and gorgeous story is a meditation on family, mortality, and the persistence of story.

Available for Sale

Redbird Chapbooks

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