About the Author

 

K. L. Cook


K. L. Cook is the author of three award-winning books of fiction.  Love Songs for the Quarantined (Willow Springs Editions), a collection of thematically linked stories, won the Spokane Prize for Short Fiction and was a Longlist Finalist for the Frank O'Connor International Story Prize. His novel, The Girl from Charnelle (William Morrow/Harper Perennial), won The Willa Award for Contemporary Fiction and was named a Southwest Book of the Year, an Editor’s Choice selection from the Historical Novel Society, and was a finalist for the James Jones First Novel Prize, among other honors.  Cook’s first book, Last Call (Nebraska/Bison Books), a short story cycle chronicling three decades in the lives of a West Texas family, won the inaugural Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction.

 

His stories and essays have appeared in numerous literary journals and magazines, including Glimmer Train, One Story, Poets & Writers, Hotel Amerika, Prairie Schooner, Threepenny Review, The Writer’s Chronicle, Brevity, The Louisville Review, Shenandoah, Witness, American Short Fiction, Arts & Letters, Post Road, Colorado Review, Puerto del Sol, and Harvard Review.

 

His work has also been anthologized in Best American Mystery Stories, The Prairie Schooner Book Prize: Tenth Anniversary Reader, Best of the West: New Stories from the Wide Side of the Missouri, Now Write: Fiction Writing Exercises from Today’s Best Writers and Teachers, When I Was a Loser: Essays on (Barely) Surviving High School, and Teachable Moments: Essays on Experiential Education.

 

He has been the recipient of two grants from the Arizona Commission on the Arts and residency fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Corporation of Yaddo, Blue Mountain Center, the Ucross Foundation, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Fairhope Center for the Writing Arts.


He is an Associate Professor of English at Iowa State University, where he teaches in the MFA in Creative Writing and Environment Program. He is also a member of the graduate faculty of Spalding University’s brief-residency MFA in Writing Program.

 

He previously was a Professor of Creative Writing and Literature at Prescott College, where he served as the Coordinator of the Arts & Letters Program and Associate Dean of Academic Affairs. He has also taught, as a professor or distinguished writer-in-residence, at St. Lawrence University, College of Charleston, Wichita State University's MFA Program, University of Oklahoma’s OSLEP Program, and Our Lady of the Lake University.  He regularly gives readings, workshops, lectures, and seminars at colleges, universities, and literary organizations around the country.

 

Born and raised in Texas, he now lives with his wife, the playwright and poet Charissa Menefee, and their children, in Ames, IA.

 

For more information about the MFA Programs at Iowa State University or Spalding University, click on the images below:

Prescott CollegeSpalding University

Book Awards

Other Awards

Fellowships and Grants

  • Longlist Finalist, Frank O'Connor International Story Prize, for Love Songs for the Quarantined
  • The Spokane Prize for Short Fiction, for Love Songs for the Quarantined
  • The Willa Award for Contemporary Fiction, for The Girl from Charnelle
  • Southwest Book of the Year, for The Girl from Charnelle
  • Editor's Choice Selection, Historical Novel Society, for The Girl from Charnelle
  • Best Books of the Year Selection, Gulf Coast Live/Mississippi Press, for The Girl from Charnelle
  • Best Adult Book for High School Students, School Library Journal, for The Girl from Charnelle
  • Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction, for Last Call
  • Honorable Mention, 2017 Flash Fiction Contest, Gemini Magazine, "Her First Husband"
  • 2015 Dallas Museum of Art: Selection of "Orchestration" (story) for Texas Bound/Arts & Letters Live Performance
  • 2013 Dallas Museum of Art: "Best of Texas Bound" for "Costa Rica" (story), Texas Bound/Arts & Letters Live Performance
  • Best American Mystery Stories 2012, "Filament"
  • Best of the West 2011: Stories from the Wide Side of the Missouri,  "Bonnie and Clyde in the Backyard"
  • Distinguished Story, 2010 Best American Short Stories, "Bonnie and Clyde in the Backyard"
  • Spur Award 2011, Best Short Story, Western Writers of America, "Bonnie and Clyde in the Backyard"
  • Arts & Letters Live Selection, Texas Bound Performance, Dallas Art Museum, "Breaking Glass"
  • Arts & Letters Live Selection, Texas Bound Performance, Dallas Art Museum, "Costa Rica"
  • Grand Prize, Santa Fe Writers Project Literary Arts Series, "Last Call: The Texas Moon Stories"
  • Pushcart Prize Nomination, "The Man Who Fell From the Sky"
  • Pushcart Prize Nomination, "The Couple Upstairs"
  • Pushcart Prize Nomination, "Nature's Way"
  • e2ink-2: The Best of the On-line Journals, “Strange Waters”
  • Literary Arts Award, City of Charleston, "Texas Moon"
  • Fairhope Center for the Writing Arts, Writer-in-Residence Fellowship
  • Humanities Scholarship Enhancement Initiative Grant, Iowa State University
  • Center for Excellence in the Arts & Humanities Grant, Iowa State University
  • Arizona Commission on the Arts Research and Development Grant
  • Arizona Commission on the Arts Fiction Fellowship
  • MacDowell Colony Residency Fellowships
  • Yaddo Residency Fellowships
  • Blue Mountain Center Residency Fellowships
  • Ucross Foundation Residency Fellowship
  • Vermont Studio Center Residency Fellowship
  • Millay Center for the Arts Residency Fellowship
  • Sewanee Writers' Conference, Tennessee Williams Scholar