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Creative Writing Program

Mark Jenkins

Writer in Residence

B.A., University of Wyoming

M.S., University of Wyoming

(307) 745-0010


Jenkins is a field staff writer for National Geographic magazine. A critically acclaimed journalist, Jenkins covers the globe writing about geopolitical issues, from opium smuggling in Afghanistan to HIV/ AIDS in Botswana, ethnic cleansing in Burma to mountaineering in Pakistan. Prior to working for National Geographic, Jenkins was The Hard Way columnist for Outside magazine for eight years.

He is also the author of four books: A Man's Life (Modern Times, 2007), The Hard Way (Simon and Schuster, 2002), To Timbuktu (Morrow, 1997), and Off The Map (Morrow, 1992). His works have been widely reviewed and translated into five languages. Critic Amanda Heller, writing for the Boston Globe, said: "Blessed with a rare combination of physical and intellectual grace, Jenkins weaves a compelling narrative of muscular beauty and emotional honesty. He makes us understand what pushes the man who pushes the envelope."

Jenkins has published in over 50 national and international magazines and newspapers, including The Atlantic Monthly, Bicycling, Backpacker, Conde Naste Traveler, GQ, Outside, Playboy, Sierra, Sports Afield, the Utne Reader and The Washington Post. He has been interviewed by Anderson Cooper 360, Good Morning America, The Crier Report, CNN, PBS, BBC  and NPR, as well as spoken on countless radio programs.

Jenkins' stories have been extensively anthologized, his work included in three consecutive Best American Travel Writing annuals. In 2008 he won a Maggie for his story about panic in Backpacker magazine. In 2006 Jenkins won the Lowell Thomas Award for both Best Adventure Travel Article and Best Environmental Tourism Article. In 2003, Jenkins won the American Alpine Club Literary Award for excellence in alpine literature. In the spring of 2002 Jenkins was awarded the McGaw/Hull Endowed Chair in Literature at the University of Wyoming. Jenkins has twice won the W.A.C. Literature Fellowship (1986, 1989), twice won the Polartec Explorers Award (1990, 1998), and also won a Shipton/Tilman Award (2004).

Mark Jenkins lives in Laramie, Wyoming---his hometown---with his wife, Sue Ibarra, a community activist, and two daughters, Addi and Teal.


Mark is jointly associated with the MFA, International Studies, ENR, and the Outdoor Adventure program. He gives one formal lecture for each of those programs each semester. He doesn't teach courses, but he is available for individual consultations with MFA students and undergraduate creative-writing students as time allows; and he is available for MFA thesis committee service. Mark remains a full-time magazine writer and global correspondent.





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