Steven Wright is a lecturer and alumnus of the Writing program. His debut novel, The Coyotes of Carthage (Ecco, 2020) received strong praise from USA Today, Publisher’s Weekly, Salon, Crimereads and The Washington Post, which called the novel, “riveting…. Those who pick up the book get a view of how the sausage of today’s politics gets made…. And [Wright] does so with a ticktock pace and knockout prose.” The novel also received praise from John Grisham, Lorrie Moore, Laura Lippman, Wiley Cash, and Stewart O’Nan. In 2020, USA Today included Wright on its list of 100 Black Novelists you should read. The novel was also shortlisted for the Ernest Gaines Award for Literary Excellence, which recognizes achievement by African-American fiction writers.
For the New York Review of Books, he’s written essays about race, criminal justice, and election law. He’s also published essays in Crimereads. He’s also taught creative writing at Johns Hopkins University, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison College, and the Iowa Summer Writer’s Festival. He earned his MFA from the University of Wisconsin, where he won The August Derleth Prize, which recognizes excellence in creative writing. He also won The Jerome Stern Teaching Award, which recognizes outstanding teaching by an MFA student.