Joe David Bellamy

Born: December 29, 1941
Died: August 5, 2014

Ohio connection: Birth


Born on December 29, 1941, in Cincinnati, Ohio, Joe David Bellamy was the son of Orin Ross and Beulah Pearl (Zutavern) Bellamy.  He attended Duke University (1959-1961), received a BA in Literature from Antioch College in 1964, and received an MFA in English and Creative Writing from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop in 1969.

Bellamy married Connie Sue Arendsee in 1964. A professor, writer and poet, Bellamy taught at several colleges and universities including the University of Iowa, Virginia Wesleyan College, St. Lawrence University, and George Mason University, and was Whichard Distinguished Professor in the Humanities at East Carolina University. His literary papers are archived at the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Yale University. 

The founding editor of Fiction International magazine (1973), Bellamy was a former president of both the Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) and the Coordinating Council of Literary Magazines. He also served as Director of the Literature Program of the National Endowment for the Arts (1990-1992). His articles, fiction, poetry and reviews have been published in The Atlantic, The NationHarper’sParis ReviewNarrativeThe New York Times Book ReviewPloughsharesPartisan ReviewStoryNorth American ReviewThe Washington Post Book World, and more than sixty other magazines and journals. Bellamy also had a passion for genealogy and authored three books about his family history.

In 1989, Bellamy’s first novel, Suzi Sinzinnati, was published. The book won the Editors’ Book Award from Pushcart Press. Atomic Love, his 1993 collection of short stories, was an AWP Award Series selection. He also authored or edited nineteen books including Green Freedom (2012), The Lost Saranac Interviews:  Forgotten Conversations with  Famous Writers (2007), Literary Luxuries: American Writing at the End of the Millennium (1995), American Poetry Observed: Poets On Their Work (1988), The Frozen Sea: Poems (1988), Olympic Gold Medalist: Poems (1978), Superfiction, or The American Story Transformed (1975), The New Fiction: Interviews with Innovative Writers (1974), Kindred Spirits: 400 Years of an American Family (2011), Island in the Sky: Bellamy and Allied Families (2010), and The Bellamys of Early Virginia, (2005).

Joe David Bellamy died suddenly at his home in Sanford, Florida, on August 5, 2014.



Bread Loaf Scholar-Bridgman Award, 1973; National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, 1974; Fels Award, 1976; Coordinating Council of Literary Magazine Award for Fiction, 1977; Walt Whitman Award finalist, 1977, and Elliston Book Award finalist, 1978 both for Olympic Gold Medalist; Kansas Quarterly-Kansas Arts Commission Fiction Prize, 1982; New York State Council on the Arts Grant in Fiction, 1984; National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship for Creative Writers, 1985; 1989 Editors’ Book Award for Suzi Sinzinnati; Pushcart Prize nominations in fiction, poetry and prose, 1983-90.