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About Richard Holinger


Born in Chicago in 1949, Richard Holinger grew up near Lincoln Park, spent his secondary school and college years on the East Coast, then returned to the Midwest for graduate school, and then to teach English on the secondary school, community college, and university levels. Since 1979 he’s lived an hour west of Chicago in the Fox River Valley with his wife, his two grown children (occasionally), and one dog after another. He recently retired from a forty-year English instructor position at Marmion Academy, Aurora, but continues to write a column for the Kane County Chronicle (“River Town Chronicles”), and to facilitate Geneva Public Library’s Night Writers Workshop.


His writing has appeared in well over one hundred literary journals.

Among others, his poetry has been published by Boulevard, Chelsea, ACM, Main Street Rag,Cider Press Review, The Texas Review, Willow Review, The Ohio Review, North Dakota Review, Kansas Quarterly.

His fiction has appeared in Witness, The Iowa Review, Beloit Fiction Journal, North American Review, Cream City Review, River Styx, Western Humanities Review, Midway Journal, Oyez Review, Del Sol Review, The Nebraska Review.


Creative nonfiction and literary criticism have been in The Southern Review, Cimarron Review, Crazyhorse, Thread, Ducts, Saul Bellow Journal, Briar Cliff Review.


Holinger recently retired (2020) from Marmion Academy (Aurora, IL), a parochial college preparatory school, after forty years as an English Instructor. During those years, he also taught at The University of Illinois at Chicago as a teaching assistant, and at Elgin Community College and Kishwaukee College as adjunct professor.


He holds a Ph.D. in Creative Writing from The University of Illinois at Chicago (1993); an M.A. in English from Washington University in St. Louis (1975); and a B.A. in Sociology from Hartwick College, Oneonta, NY. (1971).

Honors & Awards


Best American Essays 2018

"The Art of Passivity" a "Notable" essay in

Best American Essays 2018.

Best Original Column 2018

Second Place Award, Illinois Press Association


Split Oak Press Flash Prose Contest 2014

Chapbook: Not Everybody's Nice


Pushcart Prize Nomination 2008

Green Hills Literary Lantern


Bulwer-Lytton Contest 2005

First Place Award, Purple Prose Division


Pushcart Prize Nomination 2001

Clackamas Literary Review

Pushcart Prize Nomination 1994



Norman Mailer Writing Award 2013

National Finalist, Norman Mailer Writing Award for Middle School and High School Teachers for Non-Fiction. Norman Mailer Center and Writers Colony and the National Council of Teachers of English.


The Teacher's Voice Chapbook Contest 2008

Honorable Mention

Fellowships & Grants

Short Term Artists Fellowship 1994

Illinois Arts Council


Artists Grant for Poetry 1983

Illinois Arts Council

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