A graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, Ryan Blacketter is the author of Down in the River. He works as a mentor for PEN America's Prison Writing Program. His short stories appear in Antioch Review, Crab Orchard Review, Eclectica Magazine, Alaska Quarterly Review, Image, and elsewhere. He has published essays in the Observer, the Rumpus, and Quillette. Ryan has completed a new novel, The Argentine Woman.
Advocating a centrist classroom, Ryan supports individualistic speech right and left, but discourages speech-as-acid-attack so evident in the culture wars. As Ryan remarks in a recent Observer essay on Milo Yiannopoulos, the provocateur has a right to speak and publish but his constant nasty comments "embolden the mean, alienate the good, and tire the ones in between."