After earning a PhD in English at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, David Collins taught English and creative writing for forty years at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri (1973-2013). In his years at Westminster he published more than fifteen scholarly essays, most on Shakespeare or other medieval/Renaissance writers, but including several on American writers who lived in and wrote about Paris: Ernest Hemingway, Richard Wright, James Baldwin, and Langston Hughes.
His creative nonfiction essays have appeared in The New Laurel Review, The Hawaii Review, The Chariton Review, Pleiades, and Well Versed, Interpretations, Uncertain Promise, and It Happened in Callaway. Interviews with two Paris-based American writers, Diane Johnson and Jake Lamar, were published in The AWP Chronicle and Belles Lettres. He has written for St. Louis Magazine, The Columbia Tribune, Leadership Magazine (including one of his all-time favorites, a reflection on the night Maya Angelou spoke at Westminster College), The Quadrangle, Inside UNT Press, and for fourteen months authored Bridging the Gap, a column on life in Rwanda after the genocide for the Fulton Sun.
Three of Collins’s short essays have won awards, two for first place, one for second. In July 2016, a chapter from the manuscript for Accidental Activists: Mark Phariss, Vic Holmes, and Their Fight for Marriage Equality in Texas was awarded the Mayborn Award for Excellence in Nonfiction.
Accidental Activists, chosen as a finalist for an INDIES ‘Best Book” Award, was published by the University of North Texas Press in August 2017. Most recently, Collins edited a collection of short fiction and creative nonfiction for the Compass Flower Press.
Collins is working now on two long-term projects: a novel, Shadows of Notre Dame, set in Paris that culminates on September 11, 2001 when the World Trade Towers were leveled by terrorists and a book-length series of walking tours of literary Paris tentatively titled Parisian Places, American Faces: Walks on the Left Bank with American Writers.