Author of State Out of the Union, Reckoning at Eagle Creek, The United States of Appalachia and In the Sierra Madre, Jeff Biggers has worked as a writer and educator across the United States, Europe, India, and Mexico. He served as co-editor of No Lonesome Road: Selected Prose and Poems of Don West, and wrote the foreword to the 2011 re-issue of Huey Perry's classic, They'll Cut Off Your Project. His award-winning stories have appeared on NPR, Public Radio International, and in the New York Times, Washington Post, The Guardian (UK), Al Jazeera America, The Atlantic Monthly, Salon and Corriere della Sera (Italy). He regularly blogs for the Huffington Post. Biggers is a frequent speaker and performer at theatres, festivals, conferences and schools.
Biggers serves as the Writer-in-Residence at the University of Iowa's Office of Sustainability, and oversees the Climate Narrative Project. He is presently at work on a biography of Anne Royall, the godmother of muckraking journalism, which will be published by St. Martin's Press. His next full-length play, Damnatio Memoriae, will be published by Wings Press in the fall of 2015. Biggers is also at work on a new book, Ecopolis Iowa City: Creating the First Regenerative City in the Heartland, for the University of Iowa Press.
His work has received numerous honors, including an American Book Award, the David Brower Award for Environmental Reporting, Foreword Magazine Book of the Year Award, Lowell Thomas Award for Travel Journalism, Delta Award for Literature, Plattner Award for Appalachian Literature, an Illinois Arts Council Creative Non-Fiction Award, and a Field Foundation Fellowship. He serves as a contributing editor to The Bloomsbury Review. His play, "4 1/2 Hours: Across the Stones of Fire," won the "Greener Planet Award" at the Planet Connections Theatre Festivity in New York City, and has appeared at theatres around the country.
In the 1990s, as part of his work to develop literacy and literary programs in rural communities in the American Southwest, he founded the Northern Arizona Book Festival. In the 1980s, Biggers served as an assistant to former Senator George McGovern in Washington, DC, and as a personal aide to Rev. William Sloane Coffin at the Riverside Church in New York City, where he co-founded the Interfaith Assembly on Homelessness and Housing.
Biggers earned a B.A. in History/English from Hunter College/CUNY, with additional study at Columbia University, the University of California in Berkeley, and the University of Arizona.
Lectures, Readings & Performances
Jeff Biggers has given lectures, readings and performances at over 100 universities and colleges across the country, from the University of California in Berkeley to the University of Georgia in Athens to Yale University. He has delivered the keynote address at numerous educational, environmental and literary conferences, and has participated in book festivals in 30 states. Jeff Biggers also leads workshops for students and writers on creative writing, narrative nonfiction, environmental writing, clean energy and sustainable development, multicultural education, and art and activism.
He has also appeared on numerous TV and radio programs as a commentator and expert, including MSNBC's All in with Chris Hayes, the Rachel Maddow Show, MSNBC Ed Shultz Show, NBC Nightly News, CNN, Democracy Now, GRIT TV, Thomas Hartmann Show, National Public Radio, American Public Radio/Marketplace, among others.
To book Jeff as a speaker or to lead a workshop, Contact Jeff Biggers.