Ellie Wymard, is the director of Carlow University’s Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program. She is the author of four books: Talking Steel Towns: The Women and Men of America's Steel Valley (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2007); Conversations With Uncommon Women: Insights from women who've risen above life's challenges to achieve extraordinary success (AMACOM, 1999); Men On Divorce (Hay House, 1994); and Divorced Women, New Lives (Ballantine, 1990). Conversations was translated and published in South Korea.
Her critical essays on Kate Chopin, Barbara Pym, J.F. Powers, Annie Dillard, John Irving, John Fowles and Mary Gordon are published in academic journals, such as Modern Fiction Studies, Southern Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal of the South, Studies in Short Fiction, Cross Currents, Commonweal and The Month (London, England). Her scholarship on women writers is evident in "The Quest for Ritual and Celebration in the Comedic World of Barbara Pym," in All This Reading: The Literary World of Barbara Pym (Fairleigh Dickinson University Press and London: Associated University Press). She has written the biography of J.F. Powers for the Oxford University Press for American National Biography Online.
As an author, she has appeared on radio and television shows throughout the United States and spoken before professional and general interest groups on topics related to her books. For The Critic, she wrote a series of essays based on interviews with Anna Quindlen, Alice McDermott, Naomi Shihab Nye, Lee Smith, Mary Higgins Clark, Patricia Hampl and Jane Coleman, among others. Before an audience of 1,200, she interviewed Amy Tan for the Drue Heinz Lecture Series in Pittsburgh.
During her tenure at Carlow, Wymard developed the Madwomen in the Attic poetry workshops, the Women’s Studies program, the Marie Torre Lecture, The Honors Program, and the Focus on Women lecture series. She received her PhD with a concentration in American literature from the University of Pittsburgh and she has been a Distinguished Speaker for the Pennsylvania Humanities Council Commonwealth speakers program. She was named a finalist for the Athena Award. In 2012, she was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Humanities by Carlow University.
Wymard lives in Pittsburgh with her husband, attorney Joseph Wymard. They have two sons and seven grandchildren.