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Joseph (Joe) Nigg was born in Davenport, Iowa, and grew up throughtout the Midwest. After breaking into print with high school sportswriting, he earned a BA in English from Kent State University, an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and a Ph.D. from the University of Denver's Writing Program. While always writing on the side, he taught literature and writing at the high school and college levels prior to serving as a corporate editor for a worldwide network. A father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, he lives with his wife in Denver, Colorado, where he writes in their working library in a hundred-year-old house. 


He has been writing about mythical creatures ever since he became intrigued by a fantastic figure on an antique oil lamp in his study. The winged lion with a fish tail eventually led him to a storeroom of the Denver Art Museum, where he held in his hand an ancient Persian silver cup embossed with griffins. That experience resulted in his first book, The Book of Gryphons (1982), a full-color history of the eagle-lion beast. After that, his scope broadened to the host of mythical animals. His most recent book, The Phoenix: An Unnatural Biography of a Mythical Beast (2016), has been translated into Chinese. He received the Colorado Authors' League 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award.


 Copyright © 2022 Joseph Nigg