Close up of Nevada Writers Hall of Fame medal

Richard Wiley

2005 Nevada Writers Hall of Fame Inductee


Richard Wiley was born in Fresno, California, and grew up in Tacoma, Washington. He graduated from the University of Puget Sound and obtained a Master of Arts degree at Sophia University in Tokyo, later studying in the prestigious Iowa Writer's Workshop and receiving a Master of Fine Arts degree in creative writing-fiction from the University of Iowa. From 1967-69, he served in Korea as a Peace Corps volunteer. In the mid-1980s, he was the bilingual coordinator for the Tacoma Public Schools and later the executive director of the Association of International Schools of Africa in Nairobi, Kenya. He has also lived in Japan and Nigeria. He has been a creative writing professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas since 1989. His World War II novel, Soldiers in Hiding, resulted in his becoming the first novelist to receive the Pen/Faulkner Award for Best American Fiction (1987). In 1999, he was awarded the Maria Thomas Fiction Award for Ahmed's Revenge by the Peace Corps Writers. His novel Commodore Perry's Minstrel Show, was published in 2007. Wiley co-founded the Creative Writing MFA Program at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas with Douglas Unger. He also co-founded the International Institute of Modern Letters, headquartered at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and is its director of publications. In 2006, he retired from the Executive Board of the North American Network of Cities of Asylum (NANCA), which provides refuge for persecuted writers.