Sometimes we write our own bios as if we’re talking about somebody else. That version goes like this:
Scott Dominic Carpenter teaches literature and creative writing at Carleton College (MN). Winner of a Mark Twain House Royal Nonesuch Prize (2018) and a Minnesota State Arts Board grant, he’s the author of Theory of Remainders: A Novel (named to Kirkus Reviews’ “Best Books of 2013”) and of This Jealous Earth: Stories. His shorter work has appeared in a wide variety of venues, including South Dakota Review, The Rumpus, Silk Road, Catapult, and various anthologies. His website is sdcarpenter.com.
Although this website focuses on my creative writing, I have a boatload of academic publications dealing (mostly) with literature and literary theory. Gluttons for punishment can read more about that here).
Awards, honors, kudos, and medals of valor:
- Paris-American Library Book Award, honorable mention (for French Like Moi, 2021).
- Midwest Independent Bookstore Bestseller (for French Like Moi, 2020).
- Independent Publisher’s (“IPPY”) Book Award, bronze (for French Like Moi, 2021).
- Next Generation Indie Book Award (for French Like Moi, 2021)
- Solas House Gold Award (for “Deaf in Venice,” 2021)
- Forward Indies Book Award Finalist (for French Like Moi, 2021)
- A “notable essay and literary nonfiction” selection in Best American Essays 2020 (for “Squirrel Pie and the Golden Derrière”)
- Mark Twain House Royal Nonesuch Prize (2nd place), 2018, for “Squirrel Pie and the Golden Derrière.”
- Mark Twain House Royal Nonesuch Prize (honorable mention), 2017, for “The Death Button.”
- Minnesota State Arts Board Grant, awarded for 2016.
- Kirkus Reviews “Best Books of 2013” for Theory of Remainders
- “Midwest Connections Pick” by Midwest Independent Booksellers Association, 2013, for Theory of Remainders
For more personal info, read on.
Born in Minnesota, I grew up in several different cities, mostly in the US. I’ve lived abroad quite a bit—especially in France, but also the UK, Denmark, Germany. I now consider Northfield home, but Paris is a close second.
On my way to academia I staggered from one bizarre job to another: house painting, uranium mining, factory work, slave labor in a French château, coastline preservation in Brittany, every imaginable aspect of the restaurant industry, small engine repair, small office work, translation, sales and marketing…. That’s just for starters.
My academic training focused on French literature of the nineteenth-century, and I came to creative writing rather late. My MFA is from the University of Hard Knocks.
When I’m not writing or teaching (or grading), I can often be found on my bicycle, rolling along some country road.