rclifton spargo
R. Clifton Spargo, a Chicago-based fiction writer and cultural critic, is the author of Beautiful Fools, The Last Affair of Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald.  A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, he is the Provost’s Postgraduate Visiting Writer in Fiction in the Department of English at the University of Iowa for 2013-14.

A past winner of Glimmer Train’s Award for New Writers as well as their Fiction Open Contest, he has published stories in The Antioch Review, FICTION, Glimmer Train, SOMA, and The Kenyon Review, among other places.  His essays and reviews on literature, culture, and rock music have been featured in Raritan, Commonweal, The Yale Review, The Chicago Tribune, The Baltimore Sun, The Cambridge Companion to Bob Dylan, Newcity, and the fashion magazine Glo.  And he writes a blog called “The HI/LO,” on the interplay between high and low culture, for The Huffington Post.

He has taught creative writing at Yale University, Marquette University, and the University of Iowa.  He created and now regularly teaches “The Stories We Tell,” a first of its kind testimonial writing workshop for survivors of sexual violence and trafficking for the award-winning non-profit The Voices and Faces Project.  Spargo also trained as a researcher in the humanities at Edinburgh University, Yale Divinity School, and Yale University, from which he earned his doctorate in literature. He has published two books of criticism with The Johns Hopkins University Press as well as an edited collection with Robert Ehrenreich on Holocaust literature from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Press/ Rutgers University Press.

One of three finalists in 2005 for the inaugural Hiett Prize in the Humanities sponsored by the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture, he has held appointments as a visiting associate professor in American literature at Yale University and as a professor in the English Department at Marquette University.  He has also been a Whiting Fellow in the Humanities, the Pearl Resnick Fellow at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, a John D. and Rose H. Jackson Fellow at the Beinecke Library at Yale University, and an Arts Fellow at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.