Jeff Biggers

Jeff Biggers (born in 1963) is an American author, journalist, playwright, master storyteller and performance artist. He is the author of four books, and co-editor of a fifth. His next book, "State Out of the Union: Arizona and the Final Showdown Over the American Dream," is due out in the fall of 2012. Selected as a Publishers Weekly Top Ten Title in Social Science, "State Out of the Union" was praised by Kirkus Reviews as "masterful at showing how the past is prologue…A timely book, especially with immigration policy playing a major role in the upcoming presidential campaign.”

According to Technorati: "For Jeff Biggers what the immigration policy of this country should be is as clear as unpolluted, smog-free air, and crystal clean, unchemicalized water. Biggers, an author, journalist, storyteller and playwright is not typical, however. His knowledge and writings about vital trending issues (look for his work in the Huffington Post, and Washington Post to name a few) run far and wide. He is a discerning advocate. He has followed and joined the immigration movement in Arizona before and after the fashioning of SB1070. According to Dr. Rudy Acuna, founding chair of the Chicano/a studies department at CSUN, Biggers is one of the few journalists who have been with the movement since the beginning. Acuna has said, Biggers "is a very progressive person. He’s one of the people who I respect because he’s not only writing, but he’s active, and he feels the issue.”

Biggers has worked as a writer, educator and community organizer across the United States, Europe, India and Mexico. His award-winning stories have appeared on NPR, PRI, CNN, The Nation,, the New York Times, Washington Post, and in scores of travel, literary and music magazines, and national and foreign newspapers, and various anthologies. He blogs regularly for the Huffington Post. He has been a commentator on National Public Radio’s Morning Edition and for Pacific News Service national syndication. His work has received numerous honors, including an American Book Award, the Sierra Club's David R. Brower Award, Foreword Magazine Book of the Year Award, a Lowell Thomas Award for Travel Journalism, a Field Foundation Fellowship, a Plattner Award for Appalachian Literature, a Delta Award for Literature in Southern Illinois, and an Illinois Arts Council Creative Non-Fiction Award. He serves as a contributing editor to The Bloomsbury Review, and is a member of the PEN American Center. In the 1990s, as part of his work to develop literacy and literary programs in rural, reservation and neglected communities in the American Southwest, he founded the Northern Arizona Book Festival.

Biggers is a frequent performer and speaker at festivals, theatres, conferences, universities and schools across the country.

In the 1980s, Biggers served as an assistant to former Senator George McGovern in Washington, DC, and as a personal aide to Rev. William Sloane Coffin at the Riverside Church in New York City. As part of his work with the homeless in New York, Biggers co-founded the Interfaith Assembly on Housing and Homelessness. Born in Ohio, raised in Illinois and Arizona, he earned a B.A. in History and English at Hunter College in New York City. He also studied at the University of California in Berkeley, Columbia University and the University of Arizona.

As the grandson of a coal miner from southern Illinois, Jeff Biggers has been a vocal critic of mountaintop removal in Appalachia and reckless strip mining across the nation, as well as poorly enforced black lung and mining workplace safety laws, and the fallacy of "clean coal" slogans. Reckoning at Eagle Creek examines the loss of his family's 200-year-old homestead to strip mining, and the historical parallel impact of coal mining on communities and their environment.

Over the past two years, Biggers has also extensively covered politics, immigration and cultural issues in Arizona and the US-Mexico borderlands for, The Nation and Huffington Post. His article in, "Who's Afraid of the Tempest," broke the story on Tucson's removal of Mexican American Studies books from banned courses. Biggers chronicled the history of Arizona's century-long resistance against anti-immigrant extremists and the rise of a new movement to overturn the state's controversial SB 1070 immigration law in the New York Times.

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Jeff Biggers - Writings - Coal, Mountaintop Removal, Strip Mining, and Coal Miners
... strip mining in the Midwest and American Southwest, Biggers has written extensively for various newspapers, magazines and blogs ... In an article for, Biggers has also explored alternatives to coal mining in the coalfield regions, including a proposed industrial wind farm on Coal River Mountain in West ... In several blogs for the Huffington Post, Biggers has appealed to President Barack Obama, and Vice President Al Gore, among others, for their help in ...

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