Born: January 3, 1954
Ohio connection: Resident
Accomplished writer and professor, Robert M. Olmstead is the son of James Paul (a factory worker) and Adeline Olmstead. He was born January 3, 1954, and raised on a six generation dairy farm near Keene, New Hampshire not far from the banks of the Connecticut River. He has authored the novels America by Land, A Trail of Heart’s Blood Wherever We Go, and Soft Water. He is also the author of River Dogs, a collection of short stories, and has published a textbook for fiction-writing workshops, Elements of the Craft, and a non-fiction memoir, Stay Here With Me. Robert Olmstead attended Syracuse University in New York. He was a senior writer in residence at Dickinson College (Carlisle, PA) and a director of the creative writing program at Boise State University. Olmstead has also raised dairy cows, ran a construction business and taught middle school English. Olmstead is divorced and has two daughters. He lives in Delaware, Ohio where he is an associate professor of English and the Director of the Creative Writing Program at Ohio Wesleyan University.
1989 Guggenheim fellowship for fiction. National Endowment for the Arts fellowship; Idaho Press Club Award; O. Henry Award honorable mention; Black Warrior Review Fiction Award; Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Literature fellowship; APEX Award in Journalism; Pennsylvania Council on the Senior Arts Literature fellowship; Ohio Council for the Arts Literature fellowship; 2007 Heartland Prize, Chicago Tribune, for Coal Black Horse. He has won two Ohioana Awards in 2008 and 2013.