October 19, 1949: Writer Richard Currey Born in Parkersburg

Oct 19, 2017

Credit e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia

Writer Richard Currey was born in Parkersburg on October 19, 1949. He served as navy medical corpsman from 1968 to 1972 and also studied at West Virginia University and Howard University.

Currey’s first poem was published in 1974, His first book of poetry came out in 1980, earning him a Pulitzer Prize nomination. As a result of the anthology Crossing Over: A Vietnam Journal, Currey became the D.H Lawrence Fellow in Literature and writer in residence at the University of New Mexico. He founded the Santa Fe Writers Project and continues to live in New Mexico.

His first novel, Fatal Light, was published in 1987. It told the story of a West Virginia soldier in Vietnam. The Wars of Heaven, a collection of short stories, followed in 1990. The title story from the book was also included in the 1998 O. Herry Award prize story collection. His most recent novel, Lost Highway, came out in 1997 and followed the exploits of a West Virginia country-western singer.

Richard Currey’s writing often reflects his own family experiences and life in the hills of his native West Virginia.