Naomi Wallace

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Wallace and raccoon in Kentucky
Jeremy Scahill and Naomi Wallace giving a writing workshop in New Haven

Naomi Wallace is a playwright, screenwriter and poet from Kentucky, United States. She is widely known for her plays, receiving several distinguished awards for her works.


Naomi Wallace was born on August 17, 1960 in Prospect, Kentucky. [1]

After graduating from high school, Wallace traveled to Massachusetts to obtain her Bachelor of Arts from Hampshire College. She then received two master's degrees from the University of Iowa. Curently, she divides her time between Kentucky and the Yorkshire Dales in Northern England (UK), where she lives with her husband, Bruce McLeod, and their three children: Tegan McLeod, Nadira McLeod, and Caitlin McLeod. [2]

A press release describes her as "a dedicated advocate for justice and human rights in the U.S. and abroad, and Palestinian rights in the Middle East" [3] and her writing as "muscular, devastating, and unwavering." [4]

Wallace has brushed with the law when she was detained after defying the ban on travel to Cuba.[5]


The well know plays Wallace writes are published in the U.S. by Broadway Play Publishing Inc., Theatre Communications Group, Faber and Faber in the UK, and éditions Théâtrales in France. Wallace's work has been produced in the United States, United Kingdom, Europe,[6] and the Middle East [Citation Needed].


Her work has received the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize (twice), the Joseph Kesselring Prize, the Fellowship of Southern Writers Drama Award, and an Obie Award. She is also a recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship, and a National Endowment for the Arts development grant.[7]

In 1997, she was awarded the Broadway Play Publishing Inc. Playwright of the year. [8]

In 2009, One Flea Spare was incorporated into the permanent répertoire of the French National Theatre, the Comédie-Française, and produced there in 2012. Wallace is the only living American playwright to enter the répertoire. Only two American playwrights have ever been added to La Comédie's repertoire in 300 years: the other being Tennessee Williams. The play was translated into French by Dominique Hollier.

In 2012, Wallace was a recipient of the Horton Foote Prize for most promising new American play.

In 2013, she was awarded the inaugural Windham–Campbell Literature Prize, one of the most prestigious literary prizes in the world.[9]

Windham-Campbell Prize Citation: Naomi Wallace mines historical situations in plays that are muscular, devastating, and unwavering.



  • In The Heart of America. 
  • One Flea Spare,
  • The Inland Sea,
  • Slaughter City,
  • The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek,
  • The Girl Who Fell Through a Hole in Her Jumper (with Bruce E. J. McLeod; licensed under the title The Girl Who Fell Through a Hole in Her Jumper in the United States),
  • The War Boys,
  • Things of Dry Hours
  • Birdy (an adaptation of William Wharton's novel),
  • The Fever Chart: Three Visions of the Middle East,
  • Twenty One Positions: A Cartographic Dream of the Middle East, (co-written with Lisa Schlesinger and AbdelFattah Abu Srour).
  • The Hard Weather Boating Party
  • One Short Sleepe
  • And I and Silence
  • The Liquid Plain


  • To Dance A Stony Field (Peterloo Poets Press). 


  • Lawn Dogs[10]
  • The War Boys, co-written with Bruce E. J. McLeod
  • Flying Blind, co-written with Bruce E. J. McLeod

Wallace has taught English literature, poetry and playwrighting at Yale University, UCLA, University of Iowa, Illinois State University, Merrimack College, Hampshire College, American University of Cairo, Vrije University of Amsterdam and other institutions. Wallace has also worked with women in the criminal justice system. She is currently editing an anthology of plays with Ismail Khalidi entitled: Inside/Outside: Six Plays from Palestine and the Diaspora, which will be published by TCG in 2015.

Wallace is a member of SURJ, Showing up for Racial Justice, and is represented in the USA by Abrams Artists Agency and in the UK by the Knight Hall Agency.


  1. ^ google Retrieved February 17, 2015.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ Google Retrieved 02-17-15.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help); Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ Lyn Gardner (6 February 2007). "Enemy within". The Guardian (London). 
  6. ^ "Naomi Wallace". The New York Times. 
  7. ^ "Naomi Wallace's Development Process for "The Hard Weather Boating Party"". New Play Blog. New Play Development Program, Arena Stage. March 13, 2009. [dead link]
  8. ^ Broadway Play Pub. Retrieved 02-17-15.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help); Missing or empty |title= (help)
  9. ^ Dorie Baker (March 4, 2013). "Yale awards $1.35 million to nine writers". YaleNews. Retrieved March 5, 2013. 
  10. ^ Lawn Dogs (1997), IMDb

External links[edit]