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Writer Richard Currey was born October 19, 1949, in Parkersburg. He served as a navy medical corpsman from 1968 to 1972, and studied at West Virginia University and Howard University.

Currey’s first poem was published in 1974. In 1980, his collection of poetry, Crossing Over: A Vietnam Journal, was published, and he became the D. H. Lawrence Fellow in Literature and writer in residence at the University of New Mexico. He was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship and had his first short story published in 1981. In 1987, he received his second NEA fellowship, and his first novel, Fatal Light, about a West Virginia soldier in Vietnam, was published. The Wars of Heaven, a collection of his short stories, followed in 1990. The title story from the book is included in the 1998 O. Henry Award prize story collection. Currey published a revised version of A Vietnam Journal in 1993 titled Crossing Over: The Vietnam Stories. His novel, Lost Highway, about a West Virginia country-western singer, was published in 1997.

In his writing, Currey often draws from his own family experiences and life in the hills of his native West Virginia. He won the Bravo Award for Literary Excellence in New Mexico and the Charles H. Daugherty Humanities Award in West Virginia in 1998.

This Article was written by James Slack

Last Revised on December 01, 2015


Douglas, Thomas W. Interview: Richard Currey. Appalachian Journal, (Summer 1993).

Cite This Article

Slack, James "Richard Currey." e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia. 01 December 2015. Web. 24 March 2018.


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