Kimi Faxon Hemingway

Kimi Faxon Hemingway, lecturer in the Department of English, was honored by the UNCW chapter of Phi Eta Sigma as the faculty member who most profoundly influenced and inspired members during their first year.

Founded in 1923 at the University of Illinois, Phi Eta Sigma is the nation's oldest and largest honor society for first-year students. The UNCW chapter was chartered in 1979.

Though Hemingway spent her undergraduate days at St. Lawrence University, she received her M.F.A. in creative nonfiction from UNCW. “I was lucky enough to be awarded a teaching assistant position as a graduate student,” says Hemingway. “At the time, it was a post shared by both the English and creative writing departments.”

Part of Hemingway’s training during her first year included observing a faculty member in each department.

“I had the opportunity to observe excellent professors such as Tim Bass in creative writing and Dan Noland in English, as well as take classes with such outstanding professors in both departments who taught me so much about teaching and writing,” she says.

After earning her M.F.A., Hemingway secured a part-time position teaching in English and the graduate liberal studies program. When a lectureship in English became available, she “jumped at it. I knew I wanted to be a more essential member of the English department community.”

Hemingway credits the strong relationships she established as a student and teaching assistant with both students and faculty members to making the transition to full-time lecturer an easy one.

In addition to contemporary literature and essay writing, Hemingway teaches a variety of journalism classes, including Women in Journalism, a course she designed and taught for the first time this semester.

“The class grew out of my interest in journalism and two panels I served on at the 2014 Southeastern Women's Studies Association conference regarding the role of women in journalism.” 

She also frequently teaches ENG 103 for honors, as well as a special topics course for both honors and English students called Writers in Exile.

Hemingway says she “feels humbled and honored” to be recognized by Phi Eta Sigma and “owes it all to one of my former students, the fabulous and brilliant Austin Jones, who nominated me and gave the most moving and generous introduction at the induction ceremony.” 

Originally from a small town outside of Boston, called Manchester-by-the Sea, Hemingway moved to Park City, Utah, after graduating from St. Lawrence and taught at a high school for winter Olympic athletes. Ski medalists Julia Mancuso and Ted Ligety are among her former students.

This past year, Hemingway ran two half-marathons. “It was a promise I made to myself on my 40th birthday and could not have done it without my fabulous friends and colleagues, Michelle Britt, Alex Porco, Emily Smith and Sarah Hallenbeck,” she says.

Hemingway also practices yoga and is looking forward to doing more writing this summer and spending time with her “dear, dear children and husband.”