Author Profile

John Temple

John Temple

Professor John Temple teaches reporting and writing courses. His specialty area is narrative nonfiction writing.

His new book, “American Pain,” chronicles how two young felons built the largest painkiller distribution ring in the United States. The book, published by Rowman & Littlefield in September 2015, also explores the massive rise in the use and abuse of narcotic painkillers over the past two decades.

Temple is the author of two previous nonfiction books: “The Last Lawyer: The Fight to Save Death Row Inmates” (2009) and “Deadhouse: Life in a Coroner’s Office” (2005). In 2010, “The Last Lawyer” won the Scribes Book Award from the American Society of Legal Writers. More information about Temple’s books can be found at

In Fall 2008, Temple founded the “ West Virginia Uncovered” project. In the project, students and faculty provide multimedia training and content for small rural newspapers around the state. The McCormick Foundation, the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation and the Ford Foundation have all supported the project.

Prior to teaching at WVU, Temple taught and studied creative nonfiction writing at the University of Pittsburgh, where he earned an M.F.A. Temple worked in the newspaper business for six years. He was the health/education reporter for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, a general assignment reporter for the News & Record in Greensboro, N.C., and a government and politics reporter for the Tampa Tribune in Tampa, Fla.


For more about John and his works, go to