John D'Agata received MFA degrees in both nonfiction and poetry from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and has been named "one of the most significant U.S. writers to emerge in the past few years." In Halls of Fame (2003, Graywolf Press), a collection of "lyric essays," he reflects on a variety of subjects ranging from the Hoover Dam and outsider artist Henry Darger to the Flat Earth Society and the beam of light emanating from the Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas. Annie Dillard credited him with "redefining the modern American essay." He has also edited the anthology The Next American Essay (2002, Graywolf Press), with contributions by David Antin, Joan Didion, John McPhee, Susan Sontag, Thalia Field, Carol Maso and many others. "He transforms a mere anthology into the living biography of an art form," observed Michael Silverblatt on public radio's "Bookworm." D'Agata currently serves as editor of lyric essays for the Seneca Review. He is an Assistant Professor in the Nonfiction Writing Program at the University of Iowa.