K. Mikey Borgard

Life Sketch

K. Mikey Borgard is a writer and Ph.D. student enrolled in the University of Missouri's English program. Mikey grew up in Downers Grove, IL in a multiracial family and moved to Boston, MA in 2010. In 2013, Mikey sustained injuries in the Boston Marathon bombings. He has embarked on a fictional docu-novel based on this experience. He likes to claim both his fiction and nonfiction writing as postmodern, and his prose style has a distinct blend of lyrical sentences and intricate details that is both fragmented and unflinching.

Mikey earned a Master of Fine Arts degree from Colorado State University's creative writing program in 2019 and graduated summa cum laude from the University of Illinois in 2017 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. He identifies as a disabled and nonconforming writer and an avid reader of all things criminal, magical, and suspenseful. In his free time, Mikey collects literary tattoos and pals around with his service dog, a spunky golden retriever named Friday.




from Not So Dreadful Here

Just after noon on Marathon Monday, inside an establishment on Boylston Street, a bat-eared twenty-seven-year-old Marine named John Mensch leans across the bar and asks for two shots of whiskey and the check. He balances both glasses in one hand as he signs his name. Retreating to a corner booth, he sets one of the glasses opposite his. A scallop-dome tassel lamp hangs a few inches above his head, illuminating the graffiti on the dark brick wall beside him. The Dropkick Murphys cycle through another Irish-Boston song on the jukebox. No one pays him attention as he raises his glass and speaks to the empty bench across from him before downing the whiskey. No one hears him say, “To you, brother.” The liquor runs down his throat with a satisfying burn and leaves a honey-syrup taste on his tongue. He stays pressed against the wooden seatback as the bar fills with marathon spectators, his hands resting on the gummy tabletop, staring at the second shot glass, recalling the first months he spent in Afghanistan, months when his older brother was alive. Tristan, his brother, reclining on his cot until an order came down to secure a checkpoint or patrol the central bazaar in Mazar-i-Sharif, whittling miniature dinosaurs with the switchblade that Charles, their oldest brother, had given to him prior to his deployment. Tristan modeled the dinosaurs after illustrations in a 1982 copy of Dinosaurs and Other Prehistoric Animals. Tristan had found the book in the knapsack of a boy he had shot dead under orders. Their sergeant had suspected the boy of transporting gunpowder to insurgents camped in the mountains. When Tristan inspected the boy’s knapsack, all he found was the book. For months, he worked his way through its pages, whittling each image into a wooden creation to hand to children they encountered on patrol. He had a stegosaurus in his pocket when he died. 

     John raps his knuckles on the table, turns his glass upside-down, nods curtly at the gentlemen standing near him waiting for a table, and heads for the door.



  • Intersections
  • 5th Anniversary of Boston Marathon Bombings
  • GrubStreet's 2018 Muse and the Marketplace Conference

Mikey's service dog, Friday


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Mikey (center) and his friends, Barrett (left) and Jay (right),
at the Dear World photoshoot for Boston Marathon bombing survivors

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