James McConkey was born in Ohio and earned his MFA at the Iowa Writer’s Workshop. After graduating from Iowa, he took a position at Cornell University, where he would remain for the rest of his life. At Cornell, he played a major role in establishing the Creative Writing program, the Epoch literary magazine, and the Cornell Council of the Arts. While teaching and heading these programs, he continued to draw acclaim for his own writing, including dozens of essays published in The New Yorker. He currently lives in Ithaca, New York, where he holds the title of Professor Emeritus and recently celebrated his 95th birthday.