Jeff Metcalf

Jeff Metcalf is a Professor of English at the University of Utah who teaches playwriting, young novel writing, teaching methods, and literature classes. Additionally, he works in the Honors College teaching documentary filmmaking that combines members from the community-at-large and students from the Honors College. These documentaries focus on social justice issues and are directed at offering a voice to those who are marginalized in our society.

Metcalf is an award-winning professor, playwright, author, and filmmaker whose work has appeared in numerous anthologies, film venues, on National Public Radio, and in international theatrical arenas. He is the author of an award-winning play titled A Slight Discomfort that has traveled extensively throughout the United States with performance in five different countries and 12 states. The play explores his journey through prostate cancer with humor and compassion and is currently traveling through Denmark on a one-year tour. A full-length documentary, Buying Time, (2019) examines the intersection of art and medicine as it pertains to his own life.

He is the recipient of 2019 Cathedral de Madeleine Award in the Humanities, 2017 National Society of Leadership Excellence in Teaching Award, 2016 Taft-Nicholson Artist-in-Residence Award, 2015 Surel’s Artist-in-Residence Award, 2014 Distinguished Teacher Award University of Utah, the 53rd Utah Arts Council Award for Creative non-fiction (Requiem for the Living, University of Utah Press), the 2008 Career Teaching Award from the University of Utah, the Huntsman Award for Excellence in Education, a Fulbright Memorial Scholar Award, the National Council of English Teachers Award, the Lifetime Advocacy Award from Writers @ Work, grants from both the Utah Humanities Council and the Utah Arts Council and numerous other teaching awards.

Metcalf’s most recent works include, Wacko’s City of Fun Carnival (Fiction), The Great Christmas Tree Lot Fiasco (Essay), Back Cast (Collection of Essays), Requiem for the Living (Memoir) and Hope, Heart and the Humanities (Educational, co-authored with four other educators).

At the heart of his 40+years of teaching, Metcalf’s focus has always been creating social justice programs to help those people without a platform find a way to become visible and vocal members of their community. As director of the Humanities in Focus documentary program, Metcalf has been involved in the making of 80+ short documentary films. A number of these documentaries have gone on to receive awards at the Sundance/FireFilms Award competition.



  • Requiem for the Living: A Memoir, University of Utah Press (Salt Lake City, UT), 2014.
  • Back Cast: Fly Fishing and Other Such Matters, University of Utah Press (Salt Lake City, UT), 2018.