Jul. 17.

Ted Genoways

Ted Genoways (born April 13, 1972) is a contributing writer at Mother Jones, an editor-at-large at OnEarth (the magazine of the Natural Resources Defense Council), and the author of , a finalist for the 2015 James Beard Award for Writing and Literature.

He has been hailed by the Minneapolis Star-Tribune as a „marvelous poet“ and by The Times Literary Supplement as a „tenacious scholar.“ He is the author of two books of poems and the literary history Walt Whitman and the Civil War, which, the Richmond Times-Dispatch wrote, „fills in a major gap in previous biographies of Whitman and rebuts the canard that Whitman was unaffected by the war and the run-up to it.“ His awards include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, and inclusion in the Pushcart Prize Anthology and Best American Travel Writing. He was editor of the Virginia Quarterly Review from 2003 to 2012, during which time the magazine won six National Magazine Awards.

Genoways was born in Lubbock, Texas, in 1972, and grew up in the North Hills of Pittsburgh, where „[m]ost boys‘ fathers… were mechanics, welders, steelworkers many of them Vietnam vets, laid off from the mills and scraping by. But my dad was Dr. Hugh H. Genoways pink water bottle, curator of mammals at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History.“ When Genoways‘ father was named director of the Nebraska State Museum, the family moved to Lincoln in 1986. As a freshman at Lincoln East High School, Genoways and others started a school magazine, Muse, which, two years later, the Columbia School of Journalism named the best high school publication in the country.

While completing a B.A. in English at Nebraska Wesleyan University in 1994, he worked at Prairie Schooner and founded the Coyote, a general-interest pop culture magazine, which also received multiple awards from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association. He worked at Texas Tech University Press while completing an M.A. in English from Texas Tech University. He worked at Callaloo and edited Meridian, which he founded, while completing his M.F.A. at the University of Virginia. He later worked at Coffee House Press and the Minnesota Historical Society Press, where he worked on Cheri Register’s book Packinghouse Daughter, about the meatpackers strike in Albert Lea, Minnesota, in 1959.

Genoways‘ first book, a collection of poems entitled , was a narrative his grandfather „from his birth in a poor rural family to his work in the Omaha stockyards to his final years.“ Marilyn Hacker, who selected the book for the 2001 Samuel French Morse Poetry Prize, wrote in the book’s introduction: „Perhaps it says something about the movement of American poetry that the stockyards and slaughterhouses choired in operatic open form by Carl Sandburg are rendered (a word that takes on another meaning in one poem) by Ted Genoways in a metered verse that spares the reader no detail. There is no romance to the blood and heat and animal terror communicated to workers (and readers) as it emanates from the killing floors of the Omaha meatpacking industry.“

In 2003, while he was still a doctoral student at the University of Iowa and working at the Iowa Review, Genoways was hired by the University of Virginia to edit the Virginia Quarterly Review. He served as editor for the next nine years, during which time the magazine received six National Magazine Awards, two Utne Independent Press Awards, and an Overseas Press Club Award. In 2012, Genoways announced that he was stepping down as editor of VQR to pursue his writing career glass bottled water delivery.

Genoways has since become a contributing writer at Mother Jones and an editor-at-large at OnEarth (the magazine of the Natural Resources Defense Council). His essays and poetry have appeared in The Atlantic, Bloomberg Businessweek, Harper’s, The New Republic, Outside, Poetry, and the Washington Post Book World. He has received a National Press Club Award and the James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism. In 2014, he published the book , which Eric Schlosser in the New York Times Book Review called an „important book, well worth reading, full of compelling stories used meat tenderizer for sale, genuine outrage and the careful exposure of corporate lies.“

In June 2015, Publishers Weekly announced that Genoways had „sold This Blessed Earth: A Year in the Life of an American Farm and Tequila Wars: The Bloody Struggle for the Spirit of Mexico to John Glusman at Norton…. This Blessed Earth follows a longtime farming family in Nebraska and, Norton said, ‚examines up close the challenges of family farming in contemporary America.‘ Tequila Wars examines agave farming in Mexico and aims to ‚tell the story of the modern tequila industry.'“

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