Ruth and Ferner

Ruth Suckow was a famous writer with Iowa roots; this website was created by the Ruth Suckow Memorial Association (RSMA) to celebrate her literary legacy, and to help readers find information about her life and work--as well as provide access to some of her short stories.

She was born in Hawarden, Iowa: her father was a Congregational minister and the family lived in eight cities around the state. She married Ferner Nuhn in 1929: he was a young writer, critic, and artist from Cedar Falls and eleven years younger. After their marriage they traveled around the country, spending time at several writers' colonies, including Yaddo in New York. Ferner wrote of his wife's love of Iowa: “Always she returned to Iowa, rejoicing in the superb farmland, tree-shaded towns, and unpretentious friendly people.”

They lived in New Mexico and Washington, D. C. They spent a summer with Robert Frost in his Vermont home. However, they always returned to Iowa, where they twice lived in Cedar Falls, until health problems led them to move to Arizona and then California, where she died in 1960.

Several years after her death, Ferner remarried, and he and Georgia helped establish the Ruth Suckow Memorial Association in 1966 to make sure that new generations of readers would be able to read her short stories and books.

Last updated January 27, 2023