About Peter Turchi

About Peter Turchi

peter_turchiPeter Turchi is the author of six books and the co-editor of three anthologies. His books include A Muse and A Maze: Writing as Puzzle, Mystery, and Magic; Maps of the Imagination: The Writer as Cartographer; Suburban Journals: The Sketchbooks, Drawings, and Prints of Charles Ritchie, in collaboration with the artist; a novel, The Girls Next Door; a collection of stories, Magician; and The Pirate Prince, co-written with Cape Cod treasure hunter Barry Clifford, about Clifford’s discovery of the pirate ship Whydah. His short story “Night, Truck, Two Lights Burning,” listed as one of 100 Notable Stories of 2002 by the editors of Best American Short Stories and one of 15 Recommended Stories by the jury for the O. Henry Prize Stories, has been published in Arabic and, in English, combined with images by Charles Ritchie, in a limited edition artist’s book. He has also co-edited, with Andrea Barrett, A Kite in the Wind: Fiction Writers on Their Craft, The Story Behind the Story: 26 Stories by Contemporary Writers and How They Work and, with Charles Baxter, Bringing the Devil to His Knees: The Craft of Fiction and the Writing Life.

Peter Turchi’s work has appeared online in Tin House, The Huffington Post, and Fiction Writers Review, and in Ploughshares, Story, The Alaska Quarterly Review, Puerto del Sol, and The Colorado Review, among other journals. He has received Washington College’s Sophie Kerr Prize, an Illinois Arts Council Literary Award, North Carolina’s Sir Walter Raleigh Award, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

Born in Baltimore, he earned his BA at Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland, and his MFA at the University of Arizona. He has taught at Northwestern University and Appalachian State University, has been on the faculty of the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, and served as a Visiting Professor in the Department of English at the University of Houston. From 1993 through 2008 he directed The MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College in Asheville, North Carolina. At Arizona State University he taught fiction and served as Director of Creative Writing and Director of the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing. He currently teaches nonfiction and fiction at the University of Houston, and fiction in Warren Wilson’s MFA Program for Writers. Laura, his wife, is Associate Chair of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Houston. Their son, Reed, is a musician (www.theturchi.com).

Readings, Talks, and Interviews

“Magic Words: Peter Turchi on the Puzzling Act of Writing”

February 27, 2015

“Something to be Shared”: An interview in The Believer

November, 2014

“The Mysteries of Narrative Movement”: An interview in Fiction Writers Review

November, 2014

An interview in The Houston Chronicle

November, 2014

Archived presentations and interviews

Video: ”Mapping the Territory: Fiction, Photography, and Changing Perspectives“

March 30, 2011
With Mark Klett, Reif Larsen, and Peter Turchi
Arizona State University
link to video on Vimeo:
estimated time: 1:34:22

Video: ”Starting from Here: Every Place Tells a Story“

February 3, 2011
With Reif Larsen, Michel Lussault, Peter Turchi, Philippe Vasset, Hosted by: Albert Mobilio
From Season 1 of Walls and Bridges
link to video:

estimated time: 1:18:34

Video: ”MFA Faculty reading“

December 2, 2010
With Sally Ball, Jay Boyer, Norman Dubie, Beckian Fritz Goldberg, Cynthia Hogue, T. R.
Hummer, Tara Ison, Melissa Pritchard, Jeannine Savard, and Peter Turchi
Arizona State University
link to video:
estimated time: 59:48

Ping-Pong and Perseverance: Writing Advice from Peter Turchi

April 7, 2010
Print interview on BookLife

On KSFR’s Santa Fe Radio Café

Thursday, April 17, 2008
link to podcasts:

download the MP3
estimated time: 51:38

On Wisconsin Public Radio’s “To the Best of Our Knowledge”:

December 3, 2006
listen to the RealAudio file
estimated time: 52:59
[requires RealPlayer] download RealPlayer for free

On the Leonard Lopate show:

June 13, 2005
download MP3 version
estimated time: 19:55

On WUNC’s “The State of Things”

October 20th
download the MP3
estimated time: 32:00

Discussing and reading from Maps of the Imagination at Iowa City’s Prairie Lights bookstore:

October 7, 2004
listen to the RealAudio file
[note: requires scrolling down to the proper date on Prairie Lights’ web site]
estimated time: 53:30

From Oopsla* 2007: “Once Upon a Time, Like Never Before: The Challenge of Telling the Next Story”

October 23, 2007
podcast of the keynote speech from Oopsla 2007
(*Object-Oriented Programming, Systems, Languages, and Applications)