Biography

I’m Hal Espen, a writer based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and this is my website.

I’ve written feature articles, profiles, and criticism for the New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, the Atlantic, Outside, Interview, the New York Times Book Review, Men’s Journal, People, Spy, the Los Angeles Times, Santa Fean magazine, and other publications.

From 1999 to 2006, I was the editor of Outside magazine, based in Santa Fe. In 1998, I was the features editor at Outside when it received the National Magazine Award for General Excellence. As Outside’s editor I won the National Magazine Award for Personal Service journalism in 2003, the same years that Outside was the recipient of Adweek’s Editorial Creative Team of the Year award. Outside’s 25th anniversary issue (October 20o2) received three National Magazine Award nominations, including for Feature Writing and Profile Writing. I edited and wrote the introduction to Outside 25: Classic Tales and New Voices from the Frontier of Adventure, an anthology published by W.W. Norton in 2003.

Before moving west to join Outside I was a senior editor at The New Yorker. In 1996, three Art World columns by Simon Schama that I edited at The New Yorker won the National Magazine Award for Essays and Criticism. I was also a fiction editor, editor of the Goings On About Town events listings, and fact checker during nearly a decade and a half on The New Yorker’s editorial staff.

I was born in San Francisco, and grew up in Redwood City, California, where I attended Sequoia High School. I graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a B.A. in English Literature in 1979.

My wife, Caroline Fraser, is the author of Rewilding the World: Dispatches from the Conservation Revolution and God’s Perfect Child: Living and Dying in the Christian Science Church, and she is the editor of the Library of America’s two-volume edition of the Little House novels of Laura Ingalls Wilder. She blogs at iWild.org.

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