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James Magruder

James Magruder


Artist Work

Keep Your Forks
Stage play
126 pages
"Shift Work"
"Penelope and the Sterile Field"

Artist Information

Baltimore City
Artistic Category

Literary Arts

MSAC Individual Artist Award (IAA)

Artist Bio

James Magruder is a fiction writer, playwright, and translator. His stories have appeared, in The Gettysburg Review, New England Review, Subtropics, Bloom, The Normal School, The Hopkins Review, Gargoyle, New Stories from the Midwest, and elsewhere. His début novel, Sugarless, (University of Wisconsin Press, 2009) was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award, the VCU Cabell First Novelists Award, and shortlisted for the 2010 William Saroyan International Writing Prize. Northwestern University Press published Let Me See It, his linked story collection, in 2014, and it was a Montaigne Medal Finalist in 2015. His second novel, Love Slaves of Helen Hadley Hall, was released in May 2016 from Queen's Ferry press.

His translations and adaptations for the stage include Christmas Carol 1941 (Arena Stage), Marivaux's The Triumph of Love (Baltimore Center Stage, Classic Stage Comnany), the book for its musical version, Triumph of Love (Broadway and beyond, Germany, and Japart), Labiche's Eating Crow (Dallas Main Street Theatre), Lesage's Turcaret (Catalyst Theatre,Washington D.C.), Dancourt's Knight Errant, Molière's The Imaginary Invalid (Yale Repertory Theatre, People's Light & Theatre), Bougie Man, a version of Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme for South Coast Rep, The Miser (Center Stage), Gozzi's The Love of Three Oranges (La Jolla Playhouse), Giraudoux's The Madwoman of Chaillot (AmericanConservatory Theatre), and Der Bourgeois Bigshot, a reconstruction of the Hofmannsthal/Strauss musical comedy Der Bürger als Edelmann (Princeton University). His plays Keep Your Forks, Joan and Bootsie, Penelope & the Sterile Field, Too Much of Me, Nine Rooms Worth, Dead Parents, Pissing Match, and Dunkler-Related Disorders have been staged in Baltimore, Atlanta, San Francisco, and New York, and published in The Art of theOne-Act, Third Coast, and Arts & Letters. His Three French Comedies (Yale University Press) was named an "Outstanding Literary Translation" by the American Literary Translators Association (ALTA). Current projects include a fourth book of fiction, Save Yourself, and acommissioned chronicle of the Yale Repertory Theatre titled Staying in the Moment: Yale Rep at 50. He returns to Broadway in July 2018 as the co-librettist of Head Over Heels, a musical mash-up of Sir Philip Sidney's Arcadia (1580) and the song catalogue of the Go-Go's.

He is a four-time fellow of the MacDowell Colony and a six-time recipient of an Individual Artist Award from the Maryland State Arts Council. His writing has also been supported by theVirginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Hermitage, the New Harmony Project, the Ucross Foundation, the Blue Mountain Center, the Jerome Foundation, the Albee Colony, the Kenyon Playwrights Conference, and the 2010 Sewanee Writers' Conference, where he was a Walter E. Dakin Fellow in Fiction. He holds degrees in French literature from Cornell and Yale and a DFA from the Yale School of Drama, where he taught translation and adaptation for thirteen years. Hecurrently teaches dramaturgy at Swarthmore College and fiction at the University of Baltimore.