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Frontier House
(May 2002)
Frontier Children
(October 1999)
Pioneer Women: The Lives of Women on the Frontier
(June 1998)
Pioneer Women: The Lives of Women on the Frontier
(September 1996)

Home:  >Browse Listings   >Authors   >Peavy, Linda

Linda Peavy

Linda Peavy’s writing career has been a diverse one, publishing fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, as well as dramatic writings. Born November 5, 1943, in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, Peavy graduated from Mississippi College with a B.A. in 1964 and earned an M.A. in English at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1970. She taught high school and college English for a decade before moving to Montana in 1974, where she worked as a freelance writer, an independent scholar, and a poet/writer in the schools/communities for the Montana Arts Council. In 1991 she moved to St. Louis to pursue an M.F.A. in fiction writing and playwriting at Washington University. Since the fall of 1994 she has been living and writing in Middletown Springs, Vermont, and in the spring of 2000 she completed a two-year stint at BMI’s Lehman Engles Musical Theatre Workshop in New York City.

Peavy has held writing residencies at Ucross Foundation (1987), Centrum Foundation (1986, 1987), Hedgebrook Cottages for Women Writers (1991), the Millay Colony for the Arts (1994), and Yaddo (1995). In addition to a full scholarship and teaching fellowship for her Washington University MFA work, she has received an NDEA grant for graduate work at UNC Chapel Hill; an NDEA Summer Institute grant; a Montana Arts Council Fiction Fellowship; an AAUW Career Development Grant; a 1988 NEH Travel to Collections Grant; a Vermont Arts Council Opportunity Grant (1999); and a Vermont Community Foundation 1999 grant.

Peavy has published seventeen short stories and more than 60 poems in such little magazines as The Long Story, Kalliope, Crescent Review, Texas Review, Writers’ Forum, North Dakota Review, Antigonish Review, Crab Creek Review, Cottonwood, Poets On:, and Negative Capability and in such anthologies as Katharyn Machan Aal’s Rapunzel, Rapunzel and Irene Zahava’s Word of Mouth. She has also published one picture storybook for young readers (Allison’s Grandfather, Scribner’s 1980).

Her nonfiction articles and reviews have appeared in various little magazines, professional journals, and anthologies, and she has authored and/or co-authored twelve books of nonfiction. Most of these were co-written with Ursula Smith on historical subjects, including Frontier Children (1999), Pioneer Women (1996), and Women in Waiting in the Westward Movement: Life on the Home Frontier (1994).

Most recently, the two authors were senior historical consultants for the miniseries Frontier House, to be telecast in spring 2002 on PBS. The six-hour reality series, produced by WNET-Thirteen in New York City and Wall to Wall Television (UK, Chanel 4), placed three contemporary American families in the Montana wilderness to live as 19th century pioneers did. Peavy and Smith also wrote, with series producer Simon Shaw, the companion volume to the series.

(Article first posted April 2002)

Related Links & Info

Linda Peavy and Ursula Smith
Linda Peavy
and her frequent collaborator Ursula Smith are credited as chief historical consultants for the 2002 PBS reality series Frontier House, in which three contemporary American families faced 19th century life in the Montana wilderness.


  • (Author of libretto with Ursula Smith). Pamelia (opera). First performed in Billings, Mont., August 25, 1989; choral suite from opera performed at Carnegie Hall, May 29, 1989.

Fiction and Poetry:
  • Allison’s Grandfather (picture storybook). Illustrations by Ron Himler. New York: Scribner, 1981.

Peavy’s poems and short stories have appeared in a number of magazines and journals, including Texas Review, Cottonwood Review, South Dakota Review, and Antigonish Review. Her work has also appeared in the following anthologies:
  • Aal, Katharyn Machan, ed. Rapunzel, Rapunzel. Crossing Press, 1980.
  • Cole, William, ed. The Poetry of Horses. New York: Scribner, 1979.
  • Morgan, Richard, and Phyllis Fischer, eds. Cracks in the Ark. 1982.
  • Wade, T. E., Jr., ed. With Joy: Poems for Children. Gazelle, 1985.
  • Zahava, Irene, ed. Word of Mouth: 150 Short Stories by 90 Women Authors. Crossing Press, 1990.

  • (With Jere Day). The Complete Book of Rockcrafting. New York: Drake, 1976.
  • Have a Healthy Baby: Doctor Recommended Nutritional Guide & Menus for Before, During and After Your Baby Is Born. New York: Drake, 1977.
  • Canyon Cookery: A Gathering of Recipes and Recollections from Montana’s Scenic Bridger Canyon. Artcraft, 1978.
  • (With Andrea Pagenkopf). Grow Healthy Kids!: A Parents’ Guide to Sound Nutrition. New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1980.
  • (With Ursula Smith). Food, Nutrition, and You (young adult). New York: Scribner/Macmillan, 1982.
  • (With Ursula Smith). Women Who Changed Things (young adult). New York: Scribner/Macmillan, 1983.
  • (With Ursula Smith). Dreams into Deeds: Nine Women Who Dared (young adult). New York: Scribner/Macmillan, 1985.
  • (With Ursula Smith). The Gold Rush Widows of Little Falls: A Story Drawn from the Letters of Pamelia and James Fergus. St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society Press, 1990.
  • (Co-author with Ursula Smith). Women in Waiting in the Westward Movement: Life on the Home Frontier. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1994.
  • (Co-author with Ursula Smith). Pioneer Women: The Lives of Women on the Frontier. Smithmark, 1996; Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1998.
  • (Co-author with Ursula Smith). Frontier Children. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1999.
  • (With Simon Shaw and Ursula Smith). Frontier House. New York: Pocket Books, 2002.


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