Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  James Plath  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Non-Fiction

Audience: Adult;

Born: 1950 in Chicago, Illinois

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Illinois Connection

Plath was born in Chicago and is a Professor of English and chair of the English Department with the Department of English at Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, Illinois. He has lived in Illinois from 1950-68 and 1988-present.

Biographical and Professional Information

Plath has a broad background as a writer, editor, teacher, and scholar. He has published poetry, short fiction, creative non-fiction, reviews, celebrity interviews, and literary criticism. He is also a member of the Online Film Critics Society. He's served on the literature panel of the Illinois Arts Council and Indiana Arts Commission, he directed the Hemingway Days Writers' Workshop & Conference in Key West for ten years, he's served as a contest judge for both poetry and fiction, and he published the award-winning Clockwatch Review (a journal of the arts) for 16 years. Plath is a former Fulbright teaching scholar at the University of the West Indies in Barbados. He is also a frequent speaker and occasional keynoter at writers conferences, schools, and universities. He is currently Professor of English and chair of the English Department at Illinois Wesleyan University, as well as the managing editor of He is also President of The John Updike Society, member of The Society of Midland Authors, past president of the Illinois College Press Association.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Conversations With John Updike (Literary Conversations)
ISBN: 0878056998

Univ Pr of Mississippi. 1994

Collects thirty-two interviews with the writer between 1959 and 1993

Remembering Ernest Hemingway
ISBN: 0964173557

The Ketch & Yawl Press. 1999

This volume collects thirteen extended interviews with eleven close friends of Ernest Hemingway, plus his sons Patrick and Gregory. His grand-daughter (and noted author) Lorian Hemingway provides an insightful foreword. Each interview is accompanied by one or more photographs from the period being discussed.

Historic Photos of Ernest Hemingway
ISBN: 1596525169

Turner. 2009

When Ernest Hemingway won the 1954 Nobel Prize for Literature, presenters called him “one of this epoch’s great molders of style,” praising his vivid dialogue and journalistic eye for “robust details to accumulate and take on momentous significance.” But even the Swedish Academy could not separate Hemingway the writer from Hemingway the adventurer. They also cited his “manly love of danger and adventure, with a natural admiration for every individual who fights the good fight in a world of reality overshadowed by violence and death.” From the 1920s until his death in 1961, “Papa” Hemingway was a larger-than-life literary figure whose everyday exploits became legendary. He was a friend of celebrities, a war correspondent, journalist, renowned big-game hunter, record-setting saltwater angler, and hard-drinking brawler whose reputation preceded him. Though Hemingway was and remains an American icon, he was also first and foremost a human being, as these striking black-and-white photos remind.

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (No)