Mayborn Conference Logo

Alan Prendergast

Alan Prendergast is an award-winning journalist whose stories about the justice system, historic crimes and “death by misadventure” have appeared in a wide range of magazines and anthologies, including the 2012 true-crime anthology Seven Sins (Village Voice Media), The Best American Crime Reporting 2008 (Harper Perennial) and The Best American Sports Writing 2009 (Houghton Mifflin). He is the author of a book about the Richard Jahnke child abuse and parricide case, The Poison Tree (Putnam), which was recently reissued in the Notable Trials Library.

Since 1995, Prendergast has been a staff writer for the Denver newsweekly Westword. He has also written for Rolling Stone, Outside, Los Angeles Times Magazine, Men’s Journal and other regional and national publications. He served as consultant and principal reporter for a CBS News one-hour documentary about the Columbine shootings, hosted by Ed Bradley, which aired on 60 Minutes and was nominated for an Emmy for outstanding investigative journalism. His investigations of life and death inside high-security prisons have also received national recognition; Paul Wright, editor of Prison Legal News, has called Prendergast "the best prison writer in America who’s never done time."

Prendergast began his career as an office assistant at The New Yorker. He has a master’s degree in journalism from Ohio State University, where he studied as a Kiplinger Fellow. He has appeared on The Today Show, Good Morning America, NPR, the BBC and numerous other television and radio programs to discuss his work and teaches journalism at Colorado College. He lives in Denver, Colo.

Read some of Prendergast’s work here: