Robert V.S. Redick
Although I've been in New England for nearly two decades, my childhood straddled two beloved home towns: Charlottesville, Virginia (*), and Iowa City, Iowa. I come from a yarn-spinning family, and have been writing my own since I could hold a pencil.
I studied English language & literature at the University of Virginia, tropical conservation and development at the University of Florida, and fiction writing in the Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College: the first low-residency MFA and the place where the model was developed.
Today I'm a faculty member in the wonderful Stonecoast MFA Program, part of the University of Maine system and the country's first accredited genre-friendly MFA.
I also work in the social & environmental justice field, most recently as a consultant with the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) in West Java, Indonesia. Past employers include the antipoverty organization Oxfam and in the International Development, Community & Environment (IDCE) Program at Clark University in Worcester, MA.
From 2013 to 2015, I lived mostly in the Indonesian city of Bogor. I’ve also lived and traveled extensively in Latin America, particularly Argentina and Colombia. In Cali, Colombia, I worked with a human rights foundation and taught in a bilingual school. In Argentina I interviewed park rangers, park administrators, superintendents and biologists across the country, and wrote an extensive study of ranger training and park management practices. My first novel, Conquistadors, is set during the Argentinian dictatorship of the late 1970s. The book was a finalist for the 2002 AWP/Thomas Dunne Novel Award.
I've also worked as a stage critic (a great job to have if you're dating), baker, translator, Paso Fino horse handler, and lab technician in the world's largest acid rain study.
I live in Western Massachusetts with my compañera, Prof. Kiran Asher, with whom I rescue turtles.
(*) A personal statement about Charlottesville. Racism endures in my beloved city and I condemn it absolutely. I have fought it all my life, as have my family and friends. The white supremacist thugs who marched there (August 11-12, 2017) came overwhelmingly from elsewhere, but they had some local help--and five or six times as much FURIOUS local resistance. Like Virginia itself, Charlottesville is a place of contradictions. Its history is indefensible; so are aspects of its current politics. And yet the ideals that propelled me into social justice work and a life that put art and conscience over wealth and comfort were incubated there, and taught to me by Virginians. In a word, it's complicated. Thanks for reading this.