Richard Goodman

Assistant Professor (Nonfiction)

Richard GoodmanContact

Phone: 504-280-7135



Education Background:
M.F.A., Spalding University, 2009

Area of Specialty: Nonfiction

Books: French Dirt: The Story of a Garden in the South of France, The Bicycle Diaries: One New Yorker's Journey Through 9-11, and The Soul of Creative Writing

Richard Goodman grew up in Virginia and Michigan.  He lived in New York City for thirty years.  He is the author of French Dirt: The Story of a Garden in the South of France. The San Francisco Chronicle called French Dirt “one of the most charming, perceptive and subtle books ever written about the French by an American.” One of Richard’s proudest moments as a writer was to receive praise for the book in a letter from M.F.K. Fisher, a literary hero. This letter he keeps in a Swiss safety deposit box—or would, if he could afford one.

Richard is also the author of The Soul of Creative Writing and A New York Memoir. His latest book is The Bicycle Diaries: One New Yorker’s Journey Through 9-11, with original wood engravings by the esteemed artist Gaylord Schanilec. The New York Times said that The Bicycle Diaries “has the weight of a small thing done with great care to honor a huge loss.” The book is part of the permanent collection of the 9/11 Memorial Museum. Most recently, he wrote the introduction to The Electric Pencil: Drawings from Inside State Hospital No. 3 about the Missouri outsider artist, Edward Deeds.

In New York, he taught at Queens College and at Pace University while writing his four books. He conducted writing workshops around New York and in various venues around the country.  He has given readings of his work in California, Georgia, Massachusetts, Alaska, Florida, Alabama, New Jersey, Tennessee, North and South Carolina as well as in New York City and Virginia—where he spoke at Monticello on Thomas Jefferson’s rivalry with Alexander Hamilton years before the hit musical, Hamilton.  Not having any musical talent whatsoever, the subject had to await someone who did.  He spent a year as an Associate Editor at Random House. In addition, he worked for three years as a landscape gardener in Manhattan about which he wrote in various national publications. He spent a year living in the South of France in a small wine-making village, and out of this experience came French Dirt. He taught creative nonfiction writing for nine years at Spalding University’s low residency MFA in writing program in Louisville, Kentucky.

Richard has written articles and essays for Harvard Review, The New York Times, Creative Nonfiction, Ascent, Chautauqua, Michigan Quarterly Review, Vanity Fair, French Review, River Teeth and The Writer’s Chronicle—where he has published six essays on writing.

For ten years, Richard taught creative writing to the blind and visually impaired in New York City at Visions on West 23rd Street.  He thinks of those students with great fondness and gratitude and turns to their example often for inspiration.

You can read a sampling of Richard Goodman's published works in Scholarworks.