Just the Facts

Joanne Leedom-Ackerman is a novelist, short story writer, and journalist. Her works of fiction include The Far Side of the Desert, Burning Distance, The Dark Path to the River, and No Marble Angels. Her nonfiction book PEN Journeys: Memoir of Literature on the Line was recently published, and she is the senior editor and contributor to The Journey of Liu Xiaobo: From Dark Horse to Nobel Laureate. She has also published fiction and essays in books and anthologies, including Short Stories of the Civil Rights Movement; Remembering Arthur Miller; Snakes: An Anthology of Serpent Tales, Fiction and Poetry by Texas Women, the Bicentennial Collection of Texas Short Stories and Beyond Literacy.

A reporter for The Christian Science Monitor early in her career, Joanne has won awards for her nonfiction and published articles in newspapers and magazines, including World Literature Today, The Christian Science Monitor, The Los Angeles Times, GlobalPost, and others.

Joanne is a Vice President of PEN International and the former International Secretary of PEN International and former Chair of International PEN’s Writers in Prison Committee. She also serves on the boards of the International Center for Journalists, Refugees International, the American Writers Museum and Words Without Borders and is a member of the Advisory Board of the Edward R. Murrow Center at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and the ICRW Leadership Council. She is a former board member and Vice President of PEN American Center and past President of PEN Center USA. She is an Emeritus Director of Poets and Writers, the PEN/Faulkner Foundation and Human Rights Watch, where she served as Chair of the Asia Advisory Committee. She is an Emeritus Trustee of Johns Hopkins University and Brown University and has served on the Board of Trustees of Save the Children and the International Crisis Group.

A member of the Advisory Board of the United States Institute of Peace, Joanne was an adviser on the Emmy-nominated PBS documentary A Force More Powerful: A Century of Nonviolent Conflict. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Texas Institute of Letters and American and English PEN.

Joanne has taught writing at New York University, City University of New York, Occidental College and the University of California at Los Angeles extension. She holds Master of Arts degrees from Brown University and Johns Hopkins University and graduated with honors from Principia College.

Joanne is married and has two sons.