Paul Luikart

Fiction Writer

Author's Bio

Good fiction tells the truth of the world to the people who inhabit it, whether those people care to know the truth or not. And, of course, the truth stays true in all kinds of weather, even for the person who walks in the rain and claims that it’s sunny. Now, the John Keats people might say that it’s beauty enough for truth to be truth. “In fact,” I can hear them saying, “there cannot be more beauty than truth.” I’m not sure that’s true. The John Keats opposition, as if there were such thing as a codified group of anti-John Keats people, might say that in order for truth to be beautiful, it also has to be actionable. It’s not enough to simply be true, but beauty is truth and truth is beauty, in both of their brightest forms, when truth and beauty lead to action that opposes the ugly, the hideous, and the detestable. Even if that action is internal. To think differently, for example. Or even to consider thinking differently. If truth, though, in and of itself, is not inherently beautiful, then it is inherently redemptive. This can and should be found in good fiction. When fiction is written well, it provides a view not only to humanity’s bloody past and present, but also to the possibility of a peaceful future for all people.

Publications & Prizes

Animal Heart (Hyperborea Publishing, 2016)
Brief Instructions (Ghostbird Press, 2017)
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Cheap Pop
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Johnny America
Mojave River Review
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Santa Fe Writers Project
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Synaesthesia Magazine
The Monarch Review
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Prizes won: 

2017--"In the Cave in the Holler" (short story), nominated for The Best Small Fictions anthology

2016--Animal Heart (short story collection), shortlisted for Sou'Wester First Book Award

2015--"Mercy" (short story), finalist in Wyvern Lit's flash fiction contest

2014--"The Sniper" (short story), nominated for The Best Small Fictions anthology

2013--"The Weather Underground" (short story), nominated for Pushcart Prize

2009--"Something to Crow About" (short story), selected by James Woods as a finalist in NPR's inaugural Three Minute Fiction Contest

Personal Favorites

Favorite authors: 
Nelson Algren, Willa Cather, Douglas Coupland, Graham Greene, Ma Jian, Denis Johnson, CS Lewis, Cormac McCarthy, Lewis Nordan, Annie Proulx, George Saunders, JRR Tolkein, Jamie Quatro
What I'm reading now: 
Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry

More Information

Gives readings: 
Travels for readings: 
Prefers to work with: 
At Risk Youth, LGBTQ, Homelessness, Mental Health, Disability, Incarcerated individuals, Seniors, Teachers, Teenagers, Veterans
Fluent in: 
Born in: 
Canton, OH
Raised in: 
North Canton, OH
Please note: All information in the Directory is provided by the listed writers or their representatives.
Last update: Feb 02, 2018