Joshua Wolf Shenk

Executive & Artistic Director | Black Mountain Institute
Editor-in-Chief | The Believer

About Joshua

A journalist, essayist, editor, teacher, and literary innovator, Shenk brings to BMI experience in nearly every aspect of the world of letters. He is the author of the national bestseller How Relationships Drive Creativity and the acclaimed Lincoln’s Melancholy. A founding advisor to The Moth storytelling series, Shenk served on the organization’s board of directors, where he played a lead role developing The Moth Radio Hour, now on nearly 400 stations worldwide. Shenk began his career at The New Republic, The Washington Monthly, and The Economist, and has written cover stories for Harper’s, The Atlantic, and Time. He has taught creative nonfiction at The New School, and served as the Director of The Rose O’Neill Literary House at Washington College in Maryland. He founded the Arts in Mind conversation series and the Erikson Prize in Mental Health Media. After studying literature and history at Harvard College, Josh Shenk went to work at The New Republic, where he worked with writers such as Michael Lewis, Michael Kinsley, and Andrew Sullivan. He spent several years at the helm of The Washington Monthly, where he edited contributors Paul Krugman, James Fallows, and Taylor Branch, among many others. His own essays have been published in Harper’s, The New York Times, and The Atlantic, which featured his 2009 cover story “What Makes Us Happy?.” Shenk has been a creative advisor to the executive director of Literary Arts in Portland, working to re-launch the Wordstock literary festival, and is the West Coast Representative of the MacDowell Colony’s Fellows Executive Committee.