Heartland (Smarsh) - Author Bio

Author Bio
Birth—ca. 1980-81 (?)
Where—Kansas, USA
Education—2 B.As., University of Kansas; M.F.A., Columbia University
Awards—Joan Shorenstein Fellowship, Harvard University
Currently—lives in Kansas


Sarah Smarsh is an educator, journalist and author, and a fifth generation Kansan. Her family and growing-up years are the subject of her 2018 book, Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth, a book that takes a hard look at the devastation poverty wreaks on rural mid-westerners. 

Smarsh became a published author at nine years of age when her school teacher, Mr. Cheatham, sent in a story about her family to a children's magazine. It was published as a two-page spread, complete with illustrations.

Smarsh went on to get undergraduate degrees in English and Journalism from Kansas University and then an M.F.A. from Columbia University. She has taught nonfiction writing at the university level: Columbia University, Ottawa University, Lawrence Center for the Arts, and as an Associate Professor at Wabash University.

Heartland is her fourth book; she has also written two histories of Kansas and a collection of essays.

As a journalist, Smarsh has covered socioeconomic class, politics, and public policy for The Guardian (UK), VQR, NewYorker.com, Harpers.org, Texas Observer, and others. She is currently a Joan Shorenstein Fellow at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government.

She lives in Kansas. (Adapted from various online sources.)

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