Cameron Conaway

Pittsburgh, PA 15203

Author's Bio

Born and raised in Altoona, Pennsylvania, Cameron Conaway is an independent investigative journalist, poet and writer based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is the author of 5 books, including Malaria, Poems (, which was named a Best Book of 2014 by NPR, and he’s a recipient of the Daniel Pearl Investigative Journalism Initiative Fellowship, an honor given to one journalist each year. As a journalist, Cameron has been nominated for a National Magazine Award by Newsweek and has received grants from the International Reporting Project and the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. He’s reported from Thailand and Cambodia, where he wrote about the sex trafficking of boys; from India where he reported on how the Ganges River is dying from the reckless pursuit of growth and how its health is tied to the health of the millions that rely on it; and from Ethiopia where he wrote about an inspiring new education model that is giving some of the world’s most at-risk kids a second chance. He has also reported on local issues, such as when nurses in Altoona went on strike in the freezing cold for better patient care, and on national issues such as when survivors of modern slavery convened at Capitol Hill during Human Trafficking Awareness Month to share their stories at a congressional hearing. Cameron’s work as a poet and writer began with the publication of his first book, Caged: Memoirs of a Cage-Fighting Poet (, in which he interspersed poems throughout the book of essays about his growing up in Altoona, battling personal demons, and finding solace through both poetry and his time as a professional mixed martial arts fighter. He’s been described as a “social justice poet” since the publication of his first full-length collection of poems, Until You Make the Shore (, which detailed what life was like for incarcerated young women in a juvenile detention center. His subsequent books, including Bonemeal (, Malaria, Poems and Chittagong: Poems & Essays ( are all centered around pressing societal challenges—ranging from racism and environmental degradation to modern slavery and other human rights abuses. Cameron’s work has appeared in Harvard Business Review, Newsweek, The Washington Post, Stanford Social Innovation Review, NPR, Reuters, and The Guardian, among many others. Poet Andrew Dillon, in introducing Cameron prior to a reading at the University of Tennessee, remarked: "Conaway bridges the work of a poet, a humanitarian, a scholar, a journalist. He marries science and advocacy. He does the difficult, dirty, and dangerous work of discovery to prepare for the work of recovery. In short, the work he does is necessary. He is a powerful voice among a new generation of globally-conscious writers.” He currently lives with his wife Maggie in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he works as an editorial consultant for the Tennyson Center for Children ( and as the content marketing manager at Klipfolio (—a fast-growing tech company based in Ottawa, Canada. To see all of Cameron's books, visit: To contact Cameron, do so through Facebook Messenger:

Publications and Prizes

(Iris Press, 2014)
, Malaria
(Michigan State University Press, 2014)
, Until You Make the Shore
(Salmon Poetry, 2013)
(SALit) Savannah Art and Literature , Bare Root Review, Best Poem, Blue Fog Journal, Canopic Jar, Ghoti Magazine, J Journal, Maudlin House, Memewar Magazine, Ottawa Arts Review, Poetry Midwest, Shampoo, Stickman Review, The New Writer, The Wordsmith Journal Magazine, The Write Room
(Finishing Line Press, 2013)
Prizes Won: 
2015 Recipient of the Daniel Pearl Investigative Journalism Fellowship2015 Fellow, Thailand, International Reporting Project2015 Grantee, India, Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting2014 Emerging Writer-in-Residency at Penn State Altoona2012, 2013, 2014 End Polio Now "HistoryMaker" by Rotary International2012 Wellcome Trust Arts Grant recipient2012 Reader Views Literary Award for Best Book, Mid-Atlantic (Caged)2011 Muay Thai Sponsorship from, Thailand2007-2009 Poet-in-Residency at the University of Arizona's MFA Creative Writing Program2007 Richard Russo Award for Literary Criticism2006 Richard Russo Award for Creative Writing

More Information

Listed as: 
Creative Nonfiction Writer, Fiction Writer, Poet
Gives readings: 
Travels for readings: 
Prefers to work with: 
Fluent in: 
Born in: 
Raised in: 
Altoona, PA
Please note: All information in the Directory is provided by the listed writers or their representatives.
Last updated: Mar 26, 2017