Robert Root

Robert Root


Robert Root, creative nonfiction, is the author of the memoir Happenstance (University of Iowa Press, 2013); two essay collections, Limited Sight Distance: Essays for Airwaves (Glimmerglass, 2013) and Postscripts: Retrospections on Time and Place (University of Nebraska Press, 2012); and two narratives of history and place, Recovering Ruth: A Biographer’s Tale (University of Nebraska Press, 2002) and Following Isabella: Travels in Colorado Then and Now (University of Oklahoma Press, 2009), as well as the nonfiction studies, The Nonfictionist’s Guide: On Reading and Writing Creative Nonfiction (Rowman & Littlefield, 2007), and E. B. White: The Emergence of an Essayist (University of Iowa Press, 1998). He is the editor of Landscapes With Figures: The Nonfiction of Place (University of Nebraska Press, 2007), a book of essays of place with commentaries by the authors, and the co-editor of the anthology The Fourth Genre: Contemporary Writers of/on Creative Nonfiction (Pearson, 2012), now in its sixth edition. He is also the author or editor of nine other books and served as the Interview/Roundtable editor for the journal Fourth Genre: Explorations in Nonfiction.

Root has taught at Central Michigan University, the Lighthouse Writers Workshop in Denver, and the Loft Writers Workshop in Minneapolis. His article, “Collage, Montage, Mosaic, Vignette, Episode, Segment,” from The Fourth Genre, is often assigned in creative nonfiction courses across the country. An essay on writing and teaching, “A Double Life,” published in Writing on the Edge, won the 2007 Donald Murray Award for Best Essay on Writing and/or Teaching.

His essays have been published in many literary journals: “Knowing Where You’ve Been” and “Time and Tide," both published in Ascent, were named Notable Essays in The Best American Essays 2004 and 2011; “The Pattern of Life Indelible,” in Ecotone, was listed in 2007; “Postscript to a Postscript to ‘The Ring of Time’,” in The Pinch was listed in 2010, nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and given the Council of Wisconsin Writers Short Nonfiction Award. He has been an Artist-in-Residence at Acadia National Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, and Isle Royale National Park. He lives in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

Seminars and Readings by Robert Root


MA, University of Iowa
Ph.D., University of Iowa