About Joseph Maiolo

Joseph Maiolo was born in West Virginia,  raised in the Cumberland Mountains of southwest Virginia, and  earned degrees from the University of Virginia (M.A.), the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (M.F.A.), and the United States Naval Academy (B.S.). He retired from a career as a professor of English at the University of Minnesota Duluth, where he taught literature and fiction writing from 1976 to 2013. His short stories have been published in The Sewanee Review, Ploughshares, Shenandoah, The Texas Review, The Greensboro Review, The Great River Review, other magazines, and anthologies. Several of his stories and a novella have won national awards, including citation in The Best American Short Stories, a Pushcart Prize, two National Endowment for the Arts Literary Fellowships, and three PEN/Syndicated Fiction Awards.

Two of the PEN prize stories have been read on National Public Radio’s “The Sound of Writing.” Maiolo’s work has also received a Bush Artist Fellowship and a Loft-McKnight Award of Distinction in Fiction. “The Girl and the Serpent,” an excerpt from his memoir in progress, was published by Beacon Press (Boston) in Resurrecting Grace: Remembering Catholic Childhoods.

Maiolo’s co-written play, The Man Who Moved a Mountain, has enjoyed several productions in southwest Virginia; another play, Once on Buffalo Mountain, was dramatically read at the Appalachian Festival of Plays and Playwrights at the Barter Theatre in Abingdon, Virginia. Maiolo has written the treatment for Moving Mountains, a video tribute to Robert Childress. Additionally, Maiolo has written the lyrics to a suite of four songs—folk, classical, jazz, and rock—which has been performed in concert with orchestra and singers.

His works published by Overcoat Books include the memoir My Turkish Missile Crisis and the story collections Boy • Youth • Man: a Triptych of Novellas, Three Frays from Mallorca and Four StoriesSaint Matthew in Appalachia and Other Stories, and An Arch of Birches and Other Stories.

Joseph Maiolo was diagnosed with ALS in 2013. He passed away in October, 2014.