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Marcos McPeek-Villatoro

Fletcher Jones Endowed Chair, Professor, English

MFA, University of Iowa
MA, University of Iowa
BA, St. Ambrose University


Marcos McPeek-Villatoro is the author of the Romilia Chacón crime novels. The Los Angeles Times Book Review listed his Home Killings as a Best Book of 2001. It won the Silver Medal from Foreword Magazine and First Prize in the Latino Literary Hall of Fame. The other Romilia novels include Minos and A Venom Beneath the Skin.

Random House publishes the Romilia Chacón crime fiction novels in mass-market paperback (under Dell). Germany, Japan, Russia and Brazil have acquired foreign rights of all the Romilia books. Cypress Productions of Los Angeles has bought the film rights for Minos.

His autobiographical novel The Holy Spirit of My Uncle’s Cojones was an Independent Publishers Book Award Finalist and nominated for the Pushcart Prize.

His other books include They Say that I am Two (poems), On Tuesday, When the Homeless Disappeared (poems), A Fire in the Earth (novel), and the memoir Walking to La Milpa: Living in Guatemala with Armies, Demons, Abrazos, and Death.

In the 80’s and early 90’s, Villatoro lived in Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Alabama, doing grassroots community work in Central America and with migrant farm workers. After graduating from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop in 1998, he and his family moved to California, where he holds the Fletcher Jones Endowed Chair in Writing at Mount St. Mary’s College. He's also a regular commentator for NPR.

Villatoro lives with his wife and four children in Los Angeles.