Writers Week Archives
Writers Week: November 14–18, 2011, A Celebration of Music
Steve Almond (keynote) is the author of the story collections The Evil B.B. Chow and My Life in Heavy Metal, the novel Which Brings Me to You (with Julianna Baggott), and the nonfiction books Rock and Roll Will Save Your Life, (Not That You Asked), and Candyfreak. His third book of stories, God Bless America, is forthcoming from Lookout in October. His stories have appeared in Playboy, Zoetrope, Ploughshares and Ecotone, among other magazines, and have been reprinted in Best American Short Stories and The Pushcart Prize. In Fall 2011, he will serve as a visiting fiction professor in the MFA Program in Creative Writing at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. He lives outside Boston.
Earl S. Braggs, UC Foundation and Battle Professor of English at the University of TN at Chattanooga, is the author of seven books of poetry, including Hat Dancer Blue (1992 Anhinga Prize), Crossing Tecumseh Street, House on Fontanka, and In Which Language Do I Keep Silence: New and Selected Poems. He won the seventh annual Jack Kerouac International Fiction Prize for a chapter from his novel Looking for Jack Kerouac. In addition to many prizes and awards in poetry and fiction, he has received grants from Chattanooga Allied Arts and the Tennessee Commission for the Arts. Younger Than Neil, his latest collection of poems, was published in 2009. The Syntactical Arrangements of Twisted Wind is forthcoming from Anhinga Press in 2012.
Tom Grimes is the author of several novels and Mentor: A Memoir, which traces his long friendship with Frank Conroy. Mentor was a finalist for the 2010 PEN USA Award for Creative Nonfiction, a Best Nonfiction Book of 2010 by The Washington Post and Kirkus Reviews, and a “Top Seven Literary Biography” by Barnes & Noble, which selected the book for its 2010 “Discover Great Writers Series.”
Melissa Range’s first book of poems, Horse and Rider, a finalist for the 2011 Kate Tufts Discovery Prize, won the 2010 Walt McDonald Prize in Poetry and was published by Texas Tech University Press. Her poems have appeared in 32 Poems, The Hudson Review, Image, New England Review, The Paris Review, and others. She is the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award, a “Discovery"/The Nation prize, and a scholarship from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference; she has held residencies at Yaddo, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. Originally from East Tennessee, she is currently pursuing her PhD in English and creative writing at the University of Missouri.
Leslie Rubinkowski is the author of Impersonating Elvis. A journalist, feature writer and film critic, she teaches writing at the University of Pittsburgh. Her work has appeared in Harper's, Creative Nonfiction, and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. She was director of the news-editorial program at West Virginia University's School of Journalism and has lectured at the Poynter Institute and the Chautauqua Institution, among other places. Her essay "In the Woods" was named a Notable Essay in Best American Essays, 2001.
Ashley Warlick is the author of three novels: The Distance From The Heart of Things (1996), The Summer After June (2000), and Seek the Living (2005), all published by Houghton Mifflin. Her fiction and non-fiction have appeared in such places as Garden and Gun, Redbook, The Oxford American, and McSweeney’s, and she is the editor of edible UPCOUNTRY, a magazine focused on local and sustainable foodways in upstate South Carolina. She is the youngest winner of the Houghton Mifflin Literary Fellowship, and in 2006 she received a fellowship in literature from the National Endowment for the Arts. She teaches in the MFA program at Queens University in Charlotte, and is at work on her fourth novel.
Jesse Waters was a runner-up for the Iowa Review Fiction Prize and a finalist in the Glimmer Train 2003 Poetry Open, The Davoren Hanna International Poetry Contest, and the 2010 Atlanta Review International Poetry Contest. He was also a recipient of a 2003 NC Artist’s Grant to attend the Vermont Studio Center, and a winner of the 2001 River Styx International Poetry Contest. He is currently director of the Bowers Writers House at Elizabethtown College. Jesse's fiction, poetry, and nonfiction have been nominated for multiple Pushcart Prizes, and has appeared in such journals as 88: A Journal of Contemporary Poetry, The Adirondack Review, Coal Hill Review, The Cortland Review, Cimarron Review, Concrete Wolf, the Iowa Review, Plainsongs, Magma, River Styx, Slide, StoryQuarterly, The Southeast Review, the Sycamore Review, and others. His first book of poems, Human Resources, was released by Inkbrush Press in February of 2011; his first collection of short fiction, So Let Me Get This Straight, is forthcoming from Main Street Rag in March 2012.
Luke Whisnant’s novel Watching TV with the Red Chinese was made into an independent film in 2010. His most recent book is Down in the Flood, a collection of stories. His fiction and poetry have been published in the U.S. in Esquire, Arts & Letters, Poetry East, American Short Fiction, the Southern Poetry Review, Quick Fiction, Grand Street, the North Carolina Literary Review, and others, and internationally in Frank (France), Revista Neo (Portugal), and Flash: The International Short-Short Story Magazine (England). Three of his stories have been reprinted in New Stories from the South: The Year's Best, and he has been included three times on The Best American Short Stories "Distinguished Story List." He teaches creative writing at East Carolina University, where he also edits Tar River Poetry.
Margaret Bauer is the Rives Chair of Southern Literature at East Carolina University and, since 1997, has served as editor of the North Carolina Literary Review. She is the author of The Fiction of Ellen Gilchrist (1999), William Faulkner’s Legacy (2005), and Understanding Tim Gautreaux (2010), as well as numerous articles in scholarly journals. In 2007, Dr. Bauer was named one of ECU’s 10 Women of Distinction and received the Parnassus Award for Significant Editorial Achievement from the Council of Editors of Learned Journals. She is also a recipient of ECU’s Scholar/Teacher Award and 5-Year Research/Creative Activity Award.
Carol Ann Fitzgerald is the managing editor and art editor of The Oxford American. Her writing has appeared in Ploughshares, Arts & Letters, The Malahat Review, The Gettysburg Review, and elsewhere. She attended Duke University.
Marc Smirnoff is the editor and founder of The Oxford American. He has written for the New York Times Book Review, the San Francisco Chronicle Book Review, the Washington Post Book World, and others.
Michael Strong graduated from Middlebury College, then was a sailing instructor at the Hurricane Island Outward Bound School, a carpenter in Berkeley, California, an English teacher at a school for dyslexic students, and a graduate student in English at UNC-Chapel Hill, where he read for The Carolina Quarterly. He was a PhD candidate at the Program in Comparative Literature and Literary Theory at the University of Pennsylvania, where he taught classes on technology and ethics, wrote a dissertation on Finnegans Wake, and was assistant director of the Penn National Commission. After seven years in digital marketing at Sotheby¹s, he now handles marketing and publicity at Regal Literary. He yearns for fine literary fiction and ambitious thrillers, and for nonfiction about art, politics, science, business, and sports, and boy does he love boats and the ocean they float on.
Writers Week: November 1–5, 2010, A Salute to Ecotone
Denis Johnson (keynote) is the author of many novels, most recently Nobody Move, and numerous collections of poetry, short stories, and plays. He is the recipient of a Lannan Fellowship and a Whiting Writer's Award, among many other honors for his work. For nearly ten years, he served as the playwright-in-residence for the Campo Santo Theater Company at San Francisco’s Intersection for the Arts, where his play Psychos Never Dream premiered. Pyschos Never Dream appeared in Ecotone volume 5, number 1, the “Brutality Issue.”
Katie Fallon’s essays have been published in Isotope, the Fourth River, Fourth Genre, River Teeth, among others. Her essay “Lost” was recently nominated for a Pushcart prize. She teaches creative writing and composition in the English departments at Virginia Tech and West Virginia University. Her essay “Ghosts in the Woodshed” appeared in Ecotone volume 2, number 1.
Rivka Galchen received her MD with a focus in psychiatry from Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York and her MFA from Columbia University, where she was a Robert Bingham Fellow. Her novel, Atmospheric Disturbances, was published in 2008, and she has written for the Believer, Harper’s, the New Yorker, the New York Times, and Scientific American. In 2006 she was awarded a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award, and she received the 2010/2011 Berlin Prize fellowship. She currently teaches at Columbia University. Her essay “In Between the Dream and the Doorknob: On Jonathan Lethem’s Fictions” appeared in Ecotone volume 5, number 1, the “Brutality Issue.”
Charlotte Matthews is the author of two full-length collections of poetry, Still Enough to Be Dreaming and Green Stars, and two chapbooks, A Kind of Devotion and Biding Time. Her work has recently appeared in the Virginia Quarterly Review, Borderlands, Tar River Poetry, and storySouth, and she received the 2007 New Writers Award from the Fellowship for Southern Writers. Matthews is a graduate of the University of Virginia and the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College. She teaches in the Bachelor of Interdisciplinary and Professional Studies at the University of Virginia. Her poem “Not Telling Anything New” appeared in Ecotone volume 1, number 2.
Jon Pineda is the author of Birthmark, winner of the Crab Orchard Award Series in poetry, and The Translator’s Diary, winner of the 2007 Green Rose prize. Recipient of a Virginia Commission of the Arts Individual Artist Fellowship, he attended James Madison University and the MFA program in creative writing at Virginia Commonwealth University. His work has appeared in numerous literary journals, including Crab Orchard Review, Poetry Northwest, and Prairie Schooner, among others. Pineda teaches in the MFA program of creative writing at Queens University of Charlotte. His poem “Ceiling and Ground” appeared in Ecotone volume 3,
Ron Rash is the author of four novels, three collections of poems, and four collections of stories, most recently Burning Bright. His poetry and fiction have been published in more than 100 journals and magazines, and he has received frequent awards and recognition for his writing, including The Appalachian Writers Association Book of the Year Award for 2003 and ForeWord magazine’s Gold Medal for Best Literary Novel of 2002, both for his debut novel, One Foot in Eden. A recipient of the O. Henry Prize, he holds the John Parris Chair in Appalachian Studies at Western Carolina University. His story “Burning Bright” appeared in Ecotone volume 4, numbers 1 & 2, the “Evolution Issue.”
Jay Varner is the author of the memoir Nothing Left to Burn, and has been published in Black Warrior Review, the Georgetown Review, among others. He received his MFA in creative writing at UNCW, where he served as nonfiction editor, and eventually managing editor, of Ecotone. Varner is currently at work on a novel and a second memoir.
Chuck Adams has worked in publishing for more than thirty years, primarily at Dell/Delacorte and Simon & Schuster. Currently at Algonquin Books, he has edited a range of both fiction and nonfiction works. Recent Algonquin titles include Water for Elephants by Sarah Gruen, Golfing with God by Roland Merullo, and Tab Hunter Confidential by Tab Hunter with Eddie Muller. Nearly one hundred of the books Adams has edited have gone on to become best-sellers. He edited Jay Varner's memoir, Nothing Left to Burn.
Kimi Faxon Hemingway is a founding editor of Ecotone. She received her MFA in creative writing from UNCW, where she currently teaches English composition and literature. Her essay “Personal Belongings” was published in Choice: True Stories of Birth, Contraception, Infertility, Adoption, Single Parenthood, and Abortion. Her interview with Rick Bass appeared in Ecotone volume 1, number 2.
Peter Steinberg began his career as a filmmaker and screenwriter with a BA from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts’ film school. He then spent eleven years as a literary agent at a number of high profile boutique literary agencies before forming his own company, The Steinberg Agency. Peter’s clients have written many bestselling books and have been nominated for/awarded Edgars, The Pulitzer Prize, The Story Prize, The Paris Review Discovery Prize, Borders Original Voices, and National Book Awards.
Heather Wilson studied English and creative writing as an undergraduate at UNC-Chapel Hill and received her MFA in creative writing from UNCW, where she was a founding editor of Ecotone. She has worked for the North Carolina Writers' Network, the North Carolina Literary Festival, and was a manuscript editor at Houghton Mifflin Company in Boston. Currently, she writes grants for the Cameron Art Museum, does freelance editorial work for several publishing houses, and writes for the Insiders' Guide to Wilmington and North Carolina’s Southern Coast.
A Southern Homecoming: Readings, Lectures, and Workshops
Distinguished members of the Fellowship of Southern Writers, including poet James Applewhite, fiction writer Allan Gurganus and fiction writer Elizabeth Spencer, were the keynote speakers. Gurganus, described by the American Scholar as "the rightful heir to Faulkner and Welty," read from his work at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 3 in Kenan Auditorium. Elizabeth Spencer, author of The Light in the Piazza, read from her work at 2:30 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 3 in Kenan Hall, Room 1111 and James Applewhite, professor emeritus at Duke University and author of A Diary of Altered Light, read at 7 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 5 in Dobo 103.
Visiting Writers, Editors, and Agents
James Applewhite has written numerous books of poetry, including the award-winning Daytime and Starlight and A Diary of Altered Light. He is the recipient of the Ragan-Rubin Award from the North Carolina English Teachers Association, the 1998 Brockman-Campbell Award from the North Carolina Poetry Society and the North Carolina Award in Literature. He is a Guggenheim Fellow and received the American Academy of Arts and Letters Jean Stein Award in Poetry. Applewhite was inducted into the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame in 2008. He is professor emeritus at Duke University.
Allan Gurganus, a native of Rocky Mount, N.C., is the author of novels, essays and short stories. His novels include Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All and Plays Well with Others. His short fiction includes White People and The Practical Heart: Four Novellas. Gurganus’s stories have been honored with the O. Henry Prize and included in Best American Stories and The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction. He also served as first writer-editor of Best New Stories of the South. He was awarded the Sue Kaufman Award from the American Academy for Best First Work of American Fiction, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction for White People, the Lambda Literary Award and the National Magazine Prize for The Practical Heart. His books have been translated into 16 languages.
Elizabeth Spencer, acclaimed author of numerous books of fiction and a memoir, is a five-time recipient of the O. Henry Award for short fiction. Her books include The Night Travellers, The Light in the Piazza, Jack of Diamonds and The Southern Woman: New and Selected Fiction. Her novella, The Light in the Piazza, was adapted for Broadway in 2005 and has garnered six Tony Awards. Spencer is a founding member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Todd Berliner is Associate Professor of Film Studies at UNCW. He is the author of Hollywood Incoherent: Narration in Seventies Cinema (forthcoming 2010). His articles have appeared in Film Quarterly, Cinema Journal, Journal of Film and Video, Style, Quarterly Review of Film and Video, Film International and Martin Scorsese’s “Raging Bull”: A Cambridge Film Handbook. He was a Fulbright Senior Scholar and founding chair of the Film Studies Department at UNCW.
A North Carolina native, Mike Craver graduated from the University of North Carolina and was a member of the Red Clay Ramblers for 12 years, appearing in Diamond Studs and Sam Shepard's A Lie of the Mind, recording nine albums, and touring the US, Canada, Europe, Scandinavia, Africa and the Middle East. After leaving the Ramblers, Mike got involved in more theatre, both as a writer and performer. Off-Broadway credits also include The Oil City Symphony (co-author and original cast member, Drama Desk award), Smoke on the Mountain, Radio Gals (co-author and original cast member, LA Ovation award), Wilder (co-author and original cast), Lunch at the Piccadilly (co-writer and original cast), Smoke on the Mountain Homecoming (arranger and additional music and lyrics). He has worked in theatres across the country, including the Pasadena Playhouse, Actors Theatre of Louisville and the Cape Playhouse in Dennis, Mass.
Clyde Edgerton is the author nine novels, a memoir, short stories, and essays. He has been a Guggenheim Fellow and five of his novels have been New York Times Notable Books. He is a member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers and teaches creative writing at UNC Wilmington. He lives in Wilmington, NC, with his wife, Kristina, and their children.
Brad Land studied creative writing at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and at Western Michigan University. He has twice been a fellow at the MacDowell Colony. A memoir, Goat, and a novel, Pilgrims Upon the Earth, were published by Random House. Killer Films is producing a screen adaptation of Goat, written by David Gordon Green and to be directed by Jeff Nichols. His work has appeared in the anthology When I Was a Loser: True Stories of (Barely) Surviving High School, edited by John McNally and published by Free Press, in Gentleman’s Quarterly, the Oxford American, the Southeast Review, Third Coast and Ecotone.
Sarah Messer is an associate professor of poetry and creative nonfiction at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. She has published a book of poetry, Bandit Letters (New Issues, 2001), and a hybrid history/memoir, Red House: Being a Mostly Accurate Account of New England’s Oldest Continuously Lived-in House (Viking, 2004), which was a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers pick for fall 2004. She was a 2008–09 Radcliffe Institute Fellow.
Jason Mott is a graduate of both the BFA (fiction) and MFA (poetry) programs at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. His debut poetry collection, We Call This Thing Between Us Love, will be published by Main Street Rag in December 2009. His fiction and poetry have appeared in journals such as Prick of the Spindle, Kakalak Anthology of Carolina Poets, Measure, and Chautauqua.
John Jeremiah Sullivan is a writer-at-large for GQ and a contributing editor at Harper's Magazine. He is the author of the book Blood Horses. He is a PEN Literary Award finalist.
Peter Trachtenberg is a writer based in upstate New York and the author of the memoir 7 Tattoos and The Book of Calamities: Five Questions About Suffering and Its Meaning, a book that combines reportage, memoir, and moral philosophy to explore suffering and its narratives. His essays, journalism, and short fiction have been published in The New Yorker, Harper's, BOMB, TriQuarterly, O, The New York Times Travel Magazine, and A Public Space. His commentaries have been broadcast on NPR'S All Things Considered. He was a visiting writer at UNCW in 2008-09.
Lisa Bertini directed and produced the documentary short film The Lost Colony (2007, 11:06). The documentary-short reveals the life of a family in Crusoe Island, a secluded community in the Green Swamp of North Carolina once known for its suspicion of outsiders and subsistence living along the Waccamaw River. Because of the centuries-old isolation of this community, the residents developed their own unique lifestyle and (nearly intelligible) dialect -- quite a similar situation as one would find in the 'hollers' of mountainous regions of the eastern part of the United States.
*This film was screened at the Cucalorus Film Festival in Wilmington, NC in Nov 2007; was the opening film of the Trade & Row Film Festival in Los Angeles, CA in Oct 2008; and won Best Documentary Short at The Great Lakes Film Festival in Erie, PA in Sep 2009.
Keynote Jack Myers was the 2003 Texas Poet Laureate and is a professor of English and former director of the Creative Writing Program at Southern Methodist University where he has taught poetry writing since 1975, and a former member of the faculty at Vermont College's graduate writing program. He has received Visiting Poet and Poet-in-Residence distinctions from several universities, and has served as poetry editor for Cimarron Review, Fiction International, and, currently, for TEX! He has authored seventeen books of and about poetry, and has published hundreds of individual poems in journals such as American Poetry Review, The American Scholar, Esquire, and Poetry.
Myers’ honors include the Violet Crown Award from the Writers League of Texas for The Glowing River: New and Selected Poems, named Best Literary Book of 2001 and a National Poetry Series Selection. He has twice been granted awards and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and Texas Institute of Letters. He was the 2008 visiting professor in the Department of Creative Writing.
The Creative Writing family mourned the loss of our colleague and friend in November, 2009. Jack Myers is survived by his four children and wife, Thea Temple, who is Executive Director of The Writer's Garret, in Mesquite, TX. Click here for memoriam information.
Oni Buchanan is the author of Spring, selected by Mark Doty for the 2007 National Poetry Series, and published by the University of Illinois Press in September 2008. Her first poetry book, What Animal, was published in 2003 by the University of Georgia Press. Oni is also a concert pianist, has released three solo piano CDs, and actively performs across the U.S. and abroad. She lives in Boston, where she maintains a private piano teaching studio.
Stanley Colbert has been a producer, director, screenwriter, publishing executive, literary agent as well as a distinguished visiting professor of Creative Writing at UNCW. In 2000 Colbert established the Publishing Laboratory in the Department of Creative Writing.
As a literary agent, Professor Colbert’s clients included Jack Kerouac and Margaret Atwood, and he headed the literary department of the William Morris Agency in Hollywood, representing authors and screenwriters. As a producer he wrote and produced films for United artists, 20th Century-Fox, and Columbia Pictures, as well as network television series for ABC, NBC, and CBS. While working as an executive in charge of production for Ivan Tors Studios in Miami, he produced Flipper, Gentle Ben, and scores of other shows. He served as executive producer of film drama for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and received an Emmy, together with Jim Henson, for Fraggle Rock. He later became President and CEO of HarperCollins Publishers of Canada. His stories and essays have appeared in such publications as Esquire and Creative Screenwriting.
The UNCW community is grateful to Stan Colbert for his valuable contributions and friendship, and mourned his passing in September 2010.
He is survived by his wife, a son, two daughters, and four grandchildren.
Edward J. Delaney is an author, journalist, filmmaker and educator. He is a recipient of a 2008 Literary Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, a winner of the 2005 PEN/Winship Award for Fiction, and a past winner of an O.Henry Prize for short story writing. As a journalist he is a past winner of the National Education Reporting Award, and well as other national and regional awards. Delaney was a staff writer at The Denver Post and at the Colorado Springs Gazette, and has been a contributing writer for the Chicago Tribune Magazine and the Providence Journal Magazine, as well as the Atlantic Monthly and other magazines. He has published two books of fiction, and has directed and produced a documentary film, "The Times Were Never So Bad: The Life of Andre Dubus," which premiered in 2007. It received a first place at The Rhode Island International Film Festival.
Marianne Gingher is the author of four previous books, including Bobby Rex's Greatest Hit, Teen Angel & Other Stories of Wayward Love, How to Have a Lucky Childhood, and A Girl’s Life: Horses, Boys, Weddings and Luck. Her forthcoming book, Adventures in Pen Land: One Writer's Journey from Inklings to Ink (University of Missouri Press, 2008) will be released this October. Her work has appeared in many periodicals and journals including, the Oxford American, Southern Review, Carolina Quarterly, North American Review, Redbook, Seventeen, and the New York Times among others. Her novel, Bobby Rex’s Greatest Hit, was made into a NBC Movie of the Week in 1992 starring Tom Wopat and Jean Smart. Both Bobby Rex and Teen Angel were recipients of ALA Notable and Best Book awards, and Bobby Rex won North Carolina’s Sir Walter Raleigh prize in 1987. She currently lives in Greensboro, North Carolina, and is Associate Professor of English in the Creative Writing Program at UNC Chapel Hill.
A refugee from the world of politics, Scott Hoffman is one of the founding partners of Folio Literary Management, LLC. Prior to starting Folio, Scott was at PMA Literary and Film Management, Inc. He has served as Vice-chairman of the Board of Directors of SEARAC (the only nationwide advocacy agency for Southeast Asian-Americans), a Board Member of Fill Their Shelves, Inc. (a charitable foundation that provides books to children in sub-Saharan Africa) and a member of the Metropolitan Opera's Young Associates Steering Committee.
Before entering the world of publishing, he was one of the founding partners of Janus-Merritt Strategies, a Washington, DC strategic consulting firm. He holds an MBA from New York University's Leonard N. Stern School of Business, and a BA from the College of William and Mary.
Karen Outen’s short stories have appeared in the anthologies Mother Knows: 24 Tales of Motherhood and Where Love is Found (both from Washington Square Press) and in Glimmer Train Stories, The North American Review, and Essence magazine. She has received fellowships from the Institute for the Humanities at the University of Michigan, the Pew Fellowships in the Arts, and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. In 1999 she won first prize in Glimmer Train’s Fiction Open Contest. While an MFA student at the University of Michigan, she received Hopwood Awards for the short story and for the novel. She currently teaches writing at St. Mary’s College of Maryland.
Christina Thompson was raised in Boston and attended Dartmouth College. In 1984 she received an ITT International Fellowship for study at the University of Melbourne, Australia, where she earned her Ph.D. in English. She has held postdoctoral appointments at the East West Center in Honolulu and the University of Queensland, and, in 1994, she was appointed editor of the Australian literary quarterly Meanjin. After nearly fifteen years in the Pacific, she returned to the United States in 1998. She is currently editor of the Harvard Review and an instructor in the Writing Program at Harvard University Extension, where she was awarded the James Conway prize for Excellence in Teaching in 2008. She is the author of numerous essays on the literature and history of the Pacific and of a recently published memoir entitled Come on Shore and We Will Kill and Eat You All.
David Wright is the author of Fire on the Beach: Recovering the Lost Story of Richard Etheridge and the Pea Island Lifesavers, one of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's "Best Books of 2001." His work has appeared in The Village Voice, The Kenyon Review, New York Newsday, and Paste Magazine, among others. A novel about the 2005 Paris riots will appear from Penguin in 2010. He teaches in the MFA Program at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana.
Yusef Komunyakaa was born in 1947 in Bogalusa, Louisiana, where he was raised during the begining of the Civil Rights movement. He served in the United States Army from 1969 to 1970 as a correspondent and managing editor of the Southern Cross during the Vietnam war, earning him a Bronze Star.
He began writing poetry in 1973, and received his bachelor's degree from the University of Colorado Springs in 1975. His first book of poems, Dedications & Other Darkhorses, was published in 1977, followed by Lost in the Bonewheel Factory in 1979. During this time, he earned his M.A. from Colorado State University and an M.F.A. from University of California Irvine.
Komunyakaa first received wide recognition following the 1984 publication of Copacetic, a collection of poems built from colloquial speech which demonstrated his incorporation of jazz influences. He followed the book with two others: I Apologize for the Eyes in My Head (1986), winner of the San Francisco Poetry Center Award; and Dien Cai Dau (1988), which won The Dark Room Poetry Prize and has been cited for by poets such as William Matthews and Robert Hass as being among the best writing on the war in Vietnam.
Since then, he has published several books of poems, including Taboo: The Wishbone Trilogy, Part 1 (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2004); Pleasure Dome: New & Collected Poems, 1975-1999 (2001); Talking Dirty to the Gods (2000); Thieves of Paradise (1998), which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; Neon Vernacular: New & Selected Poems 1977-1989 (1994), for which he received the Pulitzer Prize and the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award; and Magic City (1992).
Komunyakaa's prose is collected in Blues Notes: Essays, Interviews & Commentaries (University of Michigan Press, 2000). He also co-edited The Jazz Poetry Anthology (with J. A. Sascha Feinstein, 1991), co-translated The Insomnia of Fire by Nguyen Quang Thieu (with Martha Collins, 1995), and served as guest editor for The Best of American Poetry 2003.
Komunyakaa's honors include the William Faulkner Prize from the Université de Rennes, the Thomas Forcade Award, the Hanes Poetry Prize, the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize and fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the Louisiana Arts Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Josh Bell's first book, No Planets Strike, was released from Zoo Press/University of Nebraska Press in 2005. He received his M.F.A. from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, where he was a Teaching-Writing Fellow and Paul Engle Postgraduate Fellow. He was the Diane Middlebrook Fellow at the University of Wisconsin's Creative Writing Institute, 2003-04, and in the Summer of 2006 was a Walter Dakin Fellow at the Sewanee Writer's Conference. His poems have appeared in such magazines as 9th Letter, Boston Review, Hotel Amerika, Indiana Review, Triquarterly, Verse, and Volt. His poems have been reprinted in such recent anthologies as Legitimate Dangers: American Poets of the New Century (Sarabande) and Imaginary Poets: 22 Master Poets Create 22 Master Poets (Tupelo Press). New poems are forthcoming in the anthologies The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror (St. Martin's) and Third Rail: Rock and Roll Poetry (MTV Books). While at Columbia, he is finishing his doctoral dissertation for the University of Cincinnati, where he was University Distinguished Graduate Fellow.
Carolyn Ferrell is the author of the short story collection Don't Erase Me, which received the Art Seidenbaum Award of The Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the John C. Zachiris Award given by Ploughshares, and the Quality Paperback Book Prize for First Fiction. Her stories have been anthologized in The Best American Short Stories of the Century; Giant Steps: The New Generation of African American Writers; The Blue Light Corner: Black Women Writing on Passion, Sex, and Romantic Love; and Children of the Night: The Best Short Stories by Black Writers, 1967 to the Present. Carolyn has been the recipient of grants from the Fulbright Association, the German Academic Exchange (D.A.A.D.), the City University of New York MAGNET Program, and the National Endowment for the Arts (Literature fellow for 2004). She received a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.A. from the City College of New York. She lives in New York and teaches writing at Sarah Lawrence College.
Scott Huler is the author of three books, including the acclaimed Defining the Wind. Huler is a professional journalist and his articles have been published in the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and other leading North American newspapers and magazines. He is a frequent NPR contributor and lives in Raleigh, North Carolina.
John Lane's writing has been published in Orion, American Whitewater, Southern Review, Terra Nova, and Fourth Genre. His books include Circling Home, Waist Deep in Black Water, The Woods Stretched for Miles, and Chattooga (all published by University of Georgia Press), several volumes of poetry, and Weed Time, a gathering of his essays. Lane is an associate professor of English at Wofford College. With Betsy Teter, Lane co-founded the Hub City Writers Project, a non-profit literary arts organization in Spartanburg, S.C., whose publications and activities celebrate place and community.
Born in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1923, Louis Rubin is the founder of Algonquin books. As a teacher at UNC Chapel Hill he recognized the difficulties talented young writers encountered in getting pulised, saying that he saw no reason why there should not be a “good full-fledged nationally-oriented trade publishing house in the South” to show case southern writers. Louis Rubin spent two years at the College of Charleston and received his B.A. in history from the University of Richmond after serving in the United States Army during World War II. He earned his M.A. and Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University. In 1953, while still at Johns Hopkins, he co-edited his first book, Southern Renascence, a work which established him as a major figure in Southern literature, and in 1955 published Thomas Wolfe: The Weather of His Youth. He has continued to write prolifically, publishing forty books since. Before settling on an academic career, Louis Rubin worked as a journalist for newspapers and the Associated Press in Hackensack, New Jersey; Wilmington, Delaware; Baltimore; and Staunton and Richmond in Virginia.
Rubin is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including Sewanee Review, Fulbright, and Guggenheim Fellowships; the Oliver Max Gardner Award; the Mayflower Award; the Distinguished Virginian Award; and honorary degrees from the University of Richmond, the College of Charleston and Clemson University. He received the North Carolina Award for Literature in 1992 and, most recently, the R. Hunt Parker Memorial Award for lifetime contributions to the literary heritage of North Carolina.
Sharan Strange grew up in Orangeburg, South Carolina, was educated at Harvard College, and received an M.F.A. in poetry from Sarah Lawrence College. She is a contributing and advisory editor of Callaloo and cofounder of the Dark Room Collective. Her poetry has appeared in Agni, The American Poetry Review, Callaloo, The Best American Poetry 1994, The Garden Thrives, In Search of Color Everywhere, and in exhibitions at the Whitney Museum in New York and the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston. She is a professor of English at Spellman College in Atlanta, Georgia.
Peter Steinberg began his career in publishg as an assistant at HarperCollins. He later became an agent at Donadio & Ashworth (later Donadio & Olson) where he worked with notable literary figures, including Mario Puzo, Chuck Palahniuk, Peter Matthiessen, Robert Stone, Cathleen Schine and Edward Gorey. After four years with Donadio, he moved to JCA Literary Agency, where he worked for three years, before coming to Regal Literary in 2004. In the fall of 2007, Peter formed The Steinberg Agency. He's interested in literary and commercial fiction, history, humor, narrative nonfiction, short story collections and the occasional young adult novel. Peter received an undergraduate degree in film production from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts.
Betsy Teter is a founder and executive director of the Hub City Writers Project, a non-profit literary arts organization in Spartanburg, S.C., whose publications and activities celebrate place and community. Hub City, which has published 32 books and more than 180 writers since 1996, also sponsors events, readings and workshops; hosts an annual creative writing contest; and makes visits to schools and colleges.
The organization has received several regional and national awards, and its community-based publishing program has been featured in The New York Times, Southern Living, Utne Reader, Orion magazine and other publications. Hub City is the winner of The S.C. Governor’s Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Award for the Arts (2002); the S.C. Governor’s Award for the Humanities (2006); and two “Ippy Awards” from Independent Publisher magazine (1999, short story; and 2005, multicultural nonfiction).
Betsy is a native of Spartanburg and holds a BA in History from Wake Forest University. Prior to helping found the Writers Project, she was a journalist for fifteen years and served as business editor and columnist for the Spartanburg Herald-Journal.
Louise Shivers is the author of two novels, Here to Get My Baby out of Jail, which was named Best First Novel of the Year by USA Today in 1983 and was was made into the movie Summer Heat; and A Whistling Woman, which garnered Shivers the Georgia Author of the Year award in 1993. She is the receipeint of the National Endowment for the Arts fellowship and has served as Writer-in-Residence at Augusta College for more than twenty years.
Susan Orlean (Keynote Speaker) has been a staff writer for the New Yorker since 1992. She had been contributing both signed articles and “Talk of the Town” pieces since 1987. Orlean has written more than 50 “Talk of the Town” pieces, as well as “Profiles and Reporter at Large” articles, and is currently writing a series of American popular culture columns, called “Popular Chronicles.” The “Chronicles” thus far have included subjects such as an article on designer Bill Blass, Harlem high school basketball star Felipe Lopez, the friends and neighbors of Tonya Harding, and D.J. Red Alert, a hip-hop radio star in New York. Prior to joining the New Yorker, Orlean was a contributing editor at Rolling Stone and also at Vogue, where she wrote on numerous figures in both the music and fashion industries. Previously, she had been a columnist, first for the Boston Phoenix, and then for the Boston Globe Sunday Magazine. She has also written for the New York Times Magazine, Spy, Esquire and Outside. Orlean has written several books, including The Bullfighter Checks Her Makeup: My Encounters with Ordinary People (Random House, 2001), a collection of nonfiction, profiles and essays; Red Sox and Blue Fish (Faber & Faber, 1987), a compilation of columns she wrote for the Boston Globe Sunday Magazine; Saturday Night (Knopf, 1990), a journal of essays which chronicle the Saturday nights she spent in communities across the country; and The Orchid Thief (Random House, 1998), a narrative about orchid poachers in Florida. The Orchid Thief was made into the movie "Adaptation," adapted for the screen by Charlie Kaufman and directed by Spike Jonze. Orlean received her B.A. with honors from the University of Michigan in 1976. She lives in Manhattan with her husband and her dog Cooper. Cooper Gillespie has just published his first book of recipes.
Adrienne Brodeur (fiction) is a consulting editor at Harcourt Trade Publishers. Currently, she is finishing her first screenplay and beginning her second novel. She is the founding editor of Zoetrope: All-Story, a fiction magazine she started with filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola. She was Zoetrope’s editor-in-chief 1995–2002, during which time Zoetrope won the prestigious National Magazine Award for Best Fiction. Additionally, she has served as a judge for the National Book Award, the New York Public Library’s Young Lions fiction award and others. Her first novel, Man Camp, was published by Random House in 2005.
Amy Hughes (editor) is an affiliate literary agent at McCormick & Williams. Previously, she was a publicist at Simon & Schuster, an editor at Penguin, and has done freelance editing and writing for several publishing houses and magazines.
Sydney Lea (poetry)is widely known for being adept in several genres. His most recent collection of poems is Ghost Pain (Sarabande Books, 2005). His second nonfiction volume, A Little Wildness: Some Notes On Rambling, has just been published by Story Line Press.
Lea founded New England Review in 1977 and edited it until 1989. Of his seven previous poetry collections, Pursuit of a Wound (University of Illinois Press, 2000), was one of three finalists for the Pulitzer Prize for poetry. The preceding volume, To the Bone: New and Selected Poems (University of Illinois Press, 1996), was co-winner of the 1998 Poets’ Prize. Lea’s novel, A Place in Mind (Scribner, 1989) is still available in paperback from Story Line Press. His collection of naturalist essays, Hunting the Whole Way Home (University of New England Press, 1994), was reissued in paperback by the Lyons Press in 2003. Lea has received fellowships from the Rockefeller, Fulbright and Guggenheim Foundations and has taught at Dartmouth, Yale, Wesleyan, Vermont and Middlebury Colleges, as well as at Franklin College in Switzerland and the National Hungarian University in Budapest. His stories, poems, essays and criticism have appeared in the New Yorker, Atlantic, the New Republic, the New York Times, Sports Illustrated and many other periodicals, as well as in more than forty anthologies. He lives in Newbury, Vermont, where he is active in statewide literacy and conservation efforts.
Sebastian Matthews (poetry) is the author of a collection of poems, We Generous (Red Hen Press, 2007), and a memoir, In My Father’s Footsteps (Norton, 2004). He co-edited, with Stanley Plumly, Search Party: Collected Poems of William Matthews (Houghton Mifflin, 2004), a recent finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Matthews teaches part-time at Warren Wilson College and edits Rivendell, a place-based literary journal. His poetry and prose have appeared in Atlantic Monthly, Brilliant Corners, Georgia Review, New England Review, Poetry Daily, Poets & Writers, Seneca Review, Tin House and Virginia Quarterly Review, among others. Matthews was recently a recipient of a 2006 North Carolina Artist Grant.
Jason Ockert is the author of Rabbit Punches (Low Fidelity Press, 2006), a collection of short stories. He is the winner of the 1999 Atlantic Monthly Fiction Contest and the 2002 Mary Roberts Rinehart Award. His work has appeared in McSweeney's, Alaska Quarterly Review, Black Warrior Review, Mid-American Review and the Oxford American and is forthcoming in the Indiana Review. One of his stories has recently been selected for the 2007 New Stories from the South anthology. Ockert is currently completing a novel and second story collection.
Dana Sachs is the author the novel If You Lived Here (William Morrow, 2007) and The House on Dream Street: Memoir of an American Woman in Vietnam (Algonquin, 2000), and co-author of Two Cakes Fit for a King: Folktales from Vietnam. Her essays, reviews, and articles have appeared in such publications as National Geographic, The International Herald Tribune, and Travel and Leisure Family. A resident of Wilmington and part-time instructor at UNC-Wilmington, Dana was the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship in 2005, which enabled her to spend a year in Vietnam researching a nonfiction book on Operation Babylift, the evacuation of several thousand Vietnamese children from Saigon at the end of the American War.
Jacob Slichter (nonfiction) is a writer and drummer from Champaign, Illinois, who graduated from Harvard with a degree in Afro-American studies and history. His Minneapolis-based band, Semisonic, was formed in 1992 with guitarist/singer/songwriter Dan Wilson and bassist John Munson. After signing with MCA Records in 1994, Semisonic released several albums, including Great Divide, Feeling Strangely Fine and All About Chemistry. Best known in the United States for their chart-topping single “Closing Time,” Semisonic’s platinum-selling success landed them in the media spotlight—on the radio, on television with Jay Leno, David Letterman and Conan O’Brien, and on airwaves and stages around the globe. Slichter's critically acclaimed memoir, So You Wanna Be a Rock & Roll Star (Broadway Books, 2004), is a literate and detailed look behind the scenes at the workings of the music business as well as at the mind of a performer who chases after superstardom with failure ever at his heels. He has also written for the New York Times and is an occasional contributor to NPR’s Morning Edition.
Dao Strom(fiction) is the author of Grass Roof, Tin Roof, a novel (Mariner Books, 2003) and The Gentle Order of Girls and Boys (Counterpoint Press, 2006), a book of stories. She was born in Saigon and grew up in northern California. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers Workshop, and has been the recipient of an NEA Literature Fellowship, a James Michener fellowship and the Chicago Tribune/Nelson Algren Award. She currently lives in Austin, Texas.
John Sullivan is a writer-at-large for GQ and a recipient of a 2004 Whiting Writers’ Award. He recently completed a fellowship at the New York Public Library’s Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers. His memoir, Blood Horses: Notes of a Sportswriter’s Son (Picador, 2005) was named a Book of the Year by the Economist. His writing has appeared in the Paris Review, New York magazine, the New York Times and Harper’s, where he spent four years as a senior editor. Sullivan taught a semester-long creative nonfiction workshop at UNCW’s Department of Creative Writing in fall 2005.
Suzanne Wise(poetry) is the author of the poetry collection The Kingdom of the Subjunctive. Her poetry has also appeared in the anthologies American Poetry: the Next Generation (Carnegie-Mellon University Press, 2000) and Legitimate Dangers: American Poets of the New Century (Sarabande Books, 2006), and in the journals Tikkun, Pierogi Press, Boston Review, Volt, Fence, Denver Quarterly and elsewhere. She has taught creative writing at Pratt Institute and Poets House in New York City, and at Middlebury College in Vermont.
Jonathan Franzen (Keynote Speaker) was raised in Webster Groves, Missouri, and educated at Swarthmore. Franzen's The Corrections (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2001) a novel of social criticism won the National Book Award in 2001. Publicity surrounding the book drew him into a well-publicized spat with television talk show hostess Oprah Winfrey, who cancelled an interview with Franzen after he published an article about his experiences with one of her production teams. He lives in New York City and currently writes for The New Yorker magazine. His other works include: How to Be Alone: Essays (Picador, 2002); Strong Motion (Picador, 2001); and The Twenty-Seventh City (Picador, 2001).
Amy Benson's (nonfiction) hybrid memoir, The Sparkling-Eyed Boy (Houghton Mifflin, 2004), was chosen by Ted Conover as the 2003 Katherine Bakeless Nason Prize winner in creative nonfiction, sponsored by Bread Loaf Writer's Conference. Her poetry and prose has appeared in journals such as Fourth Genre, Quarterly West, Pleiades, New Orleans Review, Connecticut Review, Sonora Review, and River Styx. Benson teaches Creative Writing courses at The College of New Jersey, and lives in New York.
Camille Dungy (poetry), author of the poetry collection What to Eat, What to Drink and What to Leave for Poison, has earned fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, The Corporation of Yaddo, the Ragdale Foundation, Cave Canem, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. She has been a Tennessee William's Scholar at the Sewanee Writers' Workshop, Artist-in-Residence at Rocky Mountain National Park and was a finalist for the 2002 A Room of Her Own Foundation Fellowship in Poetry. A graduate of Stanford University and the MFA program at UNC-Greensboro, Dungy is now assistant professor of English at Randolph-Macon Woman's College in Lynchburg, VA. She has been published in various literary magazines and journals, including recently, The Missouri Review, Crab Orchard Review, and The Mid-American Review.
Alicia Erian (fiction) received her M.F.A. in creative writing from Vermont College. Her work has appeared in The Iowa Review, Zoetrope, Playboy, Nerve, and others. Erian's fiction casts aside traditional notions of right and wrong and conjures up situations that are at once familiar and unsettling. The story "Brutal" from Erian's first book of short stories, The Brutal Language of Love (Random House, 2001), has been adapted into a screenplay, and is under option by Eva Kolodner, producer of Boys Don't Cry. The film version of Erian's first novel, Towelhead (Simon and Schuster, 2005), is being directed by Alan Ball, the oscar-winning screenwriter of American Beauty. Alicia Erian is the first holder of the Newhouse Visiting Professorship of creative writing at Wellesley College.
Bill Roorbach (nonfiction) is a National Endowment for the Arts fellow, a Kaplan Foundation fellow, and the winner of a 2002 O. Henry Award. His collection of short stories, Big Bend (Counterpoint Press, 2002), won the Flannery O'Connor Award in 2001. Roorbach's other books are Temple Stream (Dial Press, 2005); A Place on Water (Tilbury House Publishers, 2004); Into Woods (University of Notre Dame Press, 2002); Summers with Juliet (Ohio State University Press, 2000); Writing Life Stories (Writer's Digest Book, 2000). Roorbach's short work has appeared in Harper's, Granta, the New York Times Magazine, New York, and many other magazines and journals, and has been featured on the National Public Radio program "Selected Shorts." He has taught at Colby College, the Ohio State University, and the University of Maine at Farmington, but has now left the academic life in order to write full time. He lives in Farmington, Maine, with his wife and daughter and two bad dogs.
Tracy K. Smith (poetry) was raised in Northern California. She received degrees in English and Creative Writing from Harvard College and Columbia University, and was a Wallace Stegner Fellow in poetry at Stanford University from 1997-99. Her book, The Body's Question (Graywolf Press, 2003), was awarded the 2002 Cave Canem Poetry Prize by Kevin Young. She is the recipient of a 2004 Rona Jaffe Writers Award, a fellowship from the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, and a grant from the Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation, and 2005 Whiting Award. Her poems have appeared in such journals as Boulevard , Callaloo, Columbia: A Journal of Literature and Art, Gulf Coast, the Nebraska Review, Post Road, and anthologies Poetry 30, Poetry Daily, Autumn House, and elsewhere. She is an assistant professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh, and will serve as lecturer in Creative Writing at Princeton from September 2005-July 2006.
Gordon Weaver (fiction) is the author of four novels and nine story collections, including Four Decades: New and Selected Stories (University of Missouri Press, 1997) and Long Odds (University of Missouri Press, 2000). Weaver's short story "Hog's Heart" was selected as a Best American Short Story in 1980. His work has appeared in Agni, Antioch Review, Carolina Quarterly, Confrontation, Georgia Review, Iowa Review, The Literary Review, New Letters, Ploughshares, and Southwest Review. The 1991 movie Cadence starring Martin and Charlie Sheen was based on Weaver's first novel, Count a Lonely Cadence (H Regnery Co, 1968). His other novels include Give Him a Stone (Crown Publishers, 1975), Circling Byzantium (Louisiana University Press, 1980), and The Eight Corners of the World (Chelsea Green Pub. Co, 1988). Weaver's short fiction collections include The Entombed Man of Thule (Louisiana State University Press, 1972), Such Waltzing Was Not Easy (University of Illinois Press, 1975), Getting Serious (Louisiana State University Press, 1980), Morality Play (Chariton Review, 1985), A World Quite Round (Louisiana State University Press, 1986), Men Who Would Be Good (1991), and The Way We Know in Dreams (University of Missouri Press, 1995).
Robert Creeley (Keynote Speaker), who passed away in March 2005, was long associatedwith the Black Mountain School of experimental poets. He was, according to the Citation for the 1999 Bollingen Prize for Poetry, "a seminal figure of the second half of the 20th Century." Other recent honors include a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Before Columbus Foundation as part of its American Book Awards, and election as a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. In numerous collections of poetry and prose, Creeley worked out a poetics of his own, which has exerted an unknowable influence on American letters, a poetics which weights language with a kind of deliberation that freely embodies the trajectories of feeling. His work is often described as "minimalist" and "intimate." What is especially clear about him is that he spent a career thinking about what it means to be human.
Virginia Holman (creative nonfiction) is a Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Journalism Fellow and award-winning author of Rescuing Patty Hearst (Simon & Schuster, 2004).She has written for Doubletake, Glamour, O Magazine,Redbook, Self, USA Today, the Washington Post, among others. Holman is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize, a North Carolina Arts Council Fellowship, and is a former Kenan Visiting Writer at UNC Chapel Hill. Her first novel is forthcoming from Simon & Schuster in early 2007. Holman will teach a semester-long nonfiction workshop at UNCW's Department of Creative Writing in spring 2006.
A. Van Jordan (poetry) is the author of M-A-C-N-O-L-I-A (W. W. Norton & Company, 2004) and Rise (Tia Chucha, 2001), which won the PEN/Oakland Josephine Miles Award. In 2004, Van Jordan won a Whiting Award and was the Robert Frost Fellow at the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference. Van Jordan teaches in the MFA program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Michael Parker (fiction) is the author of four novels: If You Want Me to Stay (Algonquin Books, 2005);Virginia Lovers (Delphinium Books, 2005);Towns Without Rivers (Perennial, 2002); and Hello Down There (Scribner, 1993), which was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and a finalist for the Pen/Hemingway Award. He also has a collection of short stories and novellas, The Geographical Cure (Penguin, 1995),which won the 1994 Sir Walter Raleigh Award. Parker teaches in the MFA program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Dana Sachs (creative nonfiction) is the author of The House on Dream Street: Memoir of an American Woman in Vietnam (Seal Press, 2003). She has written essays, reviews, and articles for the Far Eastern Economic Review, the Asian Wall Street Journal, Mother Jones, Sierra, the San Francisco Examiner, the Boston Globe, and the Philadelphia Inquirer. In 1994, she produced Which Way is East, a documentary film about contemporary Vietnam.
George Singleton's (fiction)stories have appeared in the Atlantic, Harper's, Playboy, Book, Zoetrope, the Southern Review, the Georgia Review, the North American Review, and Shenandoah. He is the author of two collections of short stories: The Half-Mammals of Dixie (Harvest Books, 2003) and These People Are Us (Harvest Books, 2002), and the novels Novel (Harcourt, 2005) and Why Dogs Chase Cars: Tales of Beleaguered Boyhood (Algonquin, 2004).
John Jeremiah Sullivan (creative nonfiction) received a 2004 Whiting Writers' Award. His memoir, Blood Horses: Notes of a Sportswriter's Son (Picador, 2005) was named a Book of the Year by the Economist . His writing has appeared in the Paris Review, New York, the New York Times, and Harper's, where he spent four years as a senior editor. He is now a writer-at-large for GQ, and recently completed a fellowship at the New York Public Library's Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers. Sullivan is teaching a semester-long creative nonfiction workshop at UNCW's Department of Creative Writing in fall 2005.
Mark Wunderlich (poetry) is the author of Voluntary Servitude (Graywolf Press, 2004) and The Anchorage (University of Massachusetts Press, 1999), which received the 1999 Lambda Literary Award. He is the recipient of fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the Wallace Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University, the Amy Lowell Traveling Fellowship, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Massachusetts Cultural Council. He has published poems, essays, reviews, and interviews in the Paris Review, Yale Review, Boston Review, Fence, Ploughshares and numerous other publications.
Tracy Kidder (Keynote Speaker), Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Soul of a New Machine (Back Bay Books, 2000), makes his home in Massachusetts and is a contributing editor of the Atlantic. After graduating from Harvard College in 1967, Kidder served in Vietnam and received the Bronze Star. He has won numerous literary awards, including the National Book Award for The Soul of a New Machine. His other works include the recently published memoir My Detachment (Random House, 2005); Mountains Beyond Mountains (Random House, 2004); Home Town (Washington Square Press, 2000); House (Mariner Books, 1999); Old Friends (Houghton Mifflin, 1993); and Among Schoolchildren (Harper Perennial, 1990).
Julianna Baggott (fiction) is the author of nine books—published and forthcoming—including national bestseller Girl Talk (Washington Square Press, 2002); a book of poems, This Country of Mothers (Southern Illinois University Press, 2001), chosen for the Crab Orchard Award Series in Poetry; and a series of novels for young readers, The Anybodies, under the pen name N.E. Bode, now in development with Nickelodeon Movies at Paramount Pictures. Twelve editions of her novels have been published overseas. Her work has appeared in dozens of publications, including Best American Poetry 2000, 180 More Extraordinary Poems for Everyday, The Southern Review, TriQuarterly, Virginia Quarterly Review, Poetry, Glamour, Ms. Magazine, and read on NPR's Talk of the Nation. She teaches in the creative writing program at Florida State University.
Valerie Boyd (creative nonfiction), author of Wrapped in Rainbows: The Life of Zora Neale Hurston (Scribner, 2002), is also arts editor and book critic at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Her work has appeared in Ms, the Oxford American, and the Washington Post. A member of the National Book Critics Circle, she is also a founding officer of the Alice Walker Literary Society and co-founder of HealthQuest: The Publication of Black Wellness. For her work, Boyd received a fellowship from the George A. and Eliza Gardner Howard Foundation of Brown University in addition to the 2003 Southern Book Critics Circle Award.
Jane Brox (creative nonfiction) is the author of three books of nonfiction: Clearing Land: Legacies of the American Farm (North Point Press, 2004); Five Thousand Days Like This One (Beacon Press, 2000), which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; and Here and Nowhere Else (North Point Press September, 1996), which won the L.L. Winship/PEN New England Award. She has been published in Georgia Review, the Gettysburg Review, among other publications and has been anthologized in the Best American Essays 1996. In 1994 she was awarded a Literature Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Mark Doty (poetry) is the author of seven books of poems, including School of the Arts: Poems (HarperCollins, 2005); Source (HarperCollins, 2002); Sweet Machine (Harper Perennial, 1998); Atlantis (Harper Perennial, 1995), which received the Ambassador Book Award, the Bingham Poetry Prize, and a Lambda Literary Award; My Alexandria (University of Illinois Press, 1993), chosen by Philip Levine for the National Poetry Series, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award and Britain's T. S. Eliot Prize, and was also a National Book Award finalist; Bethlehem in Broad Daylight (David R. Godine Publisher, 1991); and Turtle, Swan (David R. Godine Publisher, 1987). He has also published Firebird (HarperCollins, 1999), an autobiography and Heaven's Coast: A Memoir (Vintage, 1997), which won the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for First Nonfiction. Doty has received fellowships from the Guggenheim, Ingram Merrill, Rockefeller, and Whiting foundations, and from the National Endowment for the Arts. He teaches creative writing at the University of Houston. In spring 2004, he taught a poetry workshop as a distinguished visiting professor at UNCW's Department of Creative Writing.
Vince Gotera (poetry) presently teaches at the University of Northern Iowa and serves as editor of North American Review. With an MFA degree from Indiana and two Ph.D. degrees in English and American Studies, his work has been published in literary magazines such as Ploughshares, the Kenyon Review, andthe Asian Pacific American Journal. Gotera was awarded a fellowship from the National Endowment of the Arts, the American Academy of American Poets Prize, and the 1998 Mary Roberts Rinehart Award in Poetry. His books include Dragonfly; Radical Visions: Poetry by Vietnam Veterans; Ghost Wars; and Fighting Kite.
Suji Kwok Kim (poetry) was a Fulbright Scholar at Seoul National University, a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, and is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She was awarded fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, as well as grants from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the California Arts Council and the Blakemore Foundation for Asian Studies. Her work is published in numerous literary journals including Poetry, Paris Review, Yale Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Harvard Review and Ploughshares. Her first book of poetry, Notes from the Divided Country (Louisiana State University Press, 2003) received the 2002 Walt Whitman Award.
Paul Lisicky (fiction) graduated from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the James Michener/Copernicus Society. His fiction has appeared in Mississippi Review, Black Warrior Review, Gulf Coast, and Boulevard. Lisicky teaches at the University of Houston and is a Writer-in-residence at Houston’s High School for the Performing Arts. He is the author of the memoir Famous Builder (Graywolf Press, 2002) and the novel Lawnboy (Turtle Point Press, 1999).
John Jeremiah Sullivan (creative nonfiction) received a 2004 Whiting Writers' Award. His memoir, Blood Horses: Notes of a Sportswriter's Son (Picador, 2005) was named a Book of the Year by the Economist . His writing has appeared in the Paris Review, New York, the New York Times, and Harper's, where he spent four years as a senior editor. He is now a writer-at-large for GQ, and recently completed a fellowship at the New York Public Library's Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers. Sullivan is teaching a semester-long creative nonfiction workshop at UNCW's Department of Creative Writing in fall 2005.
Andrea Barrett (Keynote Speaker) makes her home in Rochester, New York. She is the winner of the National Book Award for Fiction and received a fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation and an honorary degree from Union College. She taught in the MFA program for writers at the Warren Wilson College, has been a visiting writer at colleges and universities and a faculty member of numerous writers' conferences, including the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference. She is currently a fellow at the Center for Writers and Scholars at the New York Public Library. Her works include Servants of the Map, The Voyage of the Narwhal, and Ship Fever: Stories.
Joel Brouwer is the author of two books of poems, Exactly What Happened and Centuries. He has received fellowships from the Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing. A graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and Syracuse University, he is currently assistant professor of English at University of Alabama.
Dina Ben-Lev, of Rome, Georgia, is the author of two award-winning chapbooks, Sober on a Small Plane and Note for a Missing Friend, as well as the collection Broken Helix. She is the recipient of two Academy of American Poets awards, the Elliston Poetry Prize, and a Poetry Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Lan Samantha Chang is the author of the award-winning collection Hunger: A Novella and Stories. She received her M.F.A. from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She has received fellowships from Stanford University, Princeton University, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Currently, she teaches at Harvard University.
Randall Kenan graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1985. He has taught at Sarah Lawrence, Columbia University, Duke, the University of Mississippi, and the University of Memphis. A writer of fiction and nonfiction, his books include: A Visitation of Spirits, Let the Dead Bury Their Dead and Other Stories, Walking on Water: Black American Lives at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century, James Baldwin, and A Time Not Here: The Mississippi Delta.
Sebastian Matthews lives with his wife in Asheville, North Carolina, where he edits the literary journal Rivendell. Matthews received his MFA in Creative Writing from The University of Michigan. His first collection of poems, Out Walking, will be published by Salmon Press in 2004, and a memoir, Like Father, Like Son, is due out from W.W. Norton and Company next year.
Wendy Rawlings received her M.F.A. in Creative Writing at Colorado State University and her Ph.D. in Creative Writing from the University of Utah. She was awarded the John Farrar Fellowship in Fiction at the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference. A collection of her short stories, Come Back Irish, won the 2000 Sandstone Prize for Short Fiction.
John Seabrook's articles appear regularly in The New Yorker. He has also written for Vanity Fair, Harper's, and The Nation and is the author of Deeper: My Two-Year Odyssey in Cyberspace and Nobrow. He lives in New York City.
Tim Seibles is the author of five collections of poetry including Hurdy-Gurdy, Hammerlock, Body Moves, Kerosene, and Ten Miles an Hour. He is a former National Endowment for the Arts fellow and a finalist for the Library of Virginia Book Award. He teaches in Old Dominion University's MFA in Writing Program.
Galway Kinnell (Keynote Speaker), won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award for Selected Poems (Mariner Books, 1982). His other works include When One Has Lived a Long Time (Knopf, 1990) and A Book of Nightmares (1973). Winner of a number of major fellowships, including those from the MacArthur and Guggenheim foundations, and the Medal of Merit of the National Institute of Arts and Letters, Kinnell has lectured and read extensively in the United States and abroad.
Ben Anastas (fiction) won GQ’s Frederick Exley Fiction Prize for his short story “Ice Fishing.” He is the author of the novels The Faithful Narrative of a Pastor’s Disappearance (Picador, 2002) and An Underachiever’s Diary (Perennial, 1999).
Jan DeBlieu (creative nonfiction), a North Carolina native, has written for the New York Times Magazine, Audubon, Orion, and Oxford American. She is the author of four books: Year of the Comets: A Journey from Sadness to the Stars (Shoemaker & Hoard, 2005); Wind (Mariner Books, 1999), which won the John Burrows Medal for Distinguished Natural History Writing; Hatteras Journal (Fulcrum Pub, 1987); and Meant to be Wild (Fulcrum Pub, 1987).
Kathy Fagan (poetry) is the author of Charm (Zoo Press, 2002); Moving & St. Rage (University of North Texas Press, 1999), winner of the Vassar Miller Prize for Poetry; and The Raft (Dutton, 1985). Her poems have appeared in The New Republic, The Paris Review, Ploughshares, Antaeus, The Kenyon Review, and Field. Winner of a Pushcart Prize and the Editors Prize from The Missouri Review, Fagan has received fellowships from the National Endowments for the Arts, the Ingram Merrill Foundation, and the Ohio Arts Council. She is currently a Professor of English at The Ohio State University.
Allan Gurganus (fiction) is the author of the novels The Practicle Heart (Vintage, 2002); Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All (2001), the Sue Kaufman Prize winner from the American Academy of Arts and Letters; White People (2000), a collection of stories and novellas and a Pen-Faulkner finalist and winner of the Lost Angeles Times Book Prize;and Plays Well With Others (1999), which was nominated for the Lambda Literary Award. Gurganus has taught at Stanford, Duke, the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and Sarah Lawrence College.
Haven Kimmel (fiction) is the author of She Got Up Off the Couch (Free Press, 2005); Something Rising (2004); The Solace of Leaving Early (Anchor, 2003); and A Girl Named Zippy (Doubleday, 2001), which was a New York Times bestseller. Haven resides in Durham, North Carolina.
Jack Myers (potery), a professor at Southern Methodist University, has published seven volumes of poetry, most recently The Glowing River: New and Selected Poems, and five works about the craft of poetry including The Longman Dictionary of Poetic Terms. Widely anthologized, his work has appeared in Esquire, Poetry, and the American Poetry Review. He has twice received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Thisbe Nissen (fiction) is a graduate of Oberlin College and the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and a former James Michener Fellow. Her books include the novels Osprey Island (Knopf, 2004) and The Good People of New York (2001), selected by Booklist as one of the top ten debut novels of 2001. She also has a short story collection Out of the Girl's Room and into the Night (Anchor, 2000).
William Least Heat Moon (Keynote Speaker) is the author of River-Horse (Penguin Books, 2001); PrairyErth (A Deep Map): An Epic History of the Tallgrass Prairie Country (Houghton Mifflin, 1992); and Blue Highways: A Journey into America (Back Bay Books, 1983), a non-fiction classic of his travels down the backroads of the United States, a book the Chicago Sun-Times described as "Better than Kerouac."
Nick Flynn's (poetry) first book, Some Ether (Graywolf Press, 2000), a finalist for the L.A. Times Book Prize, won the PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award and The Larry Levis Reading Prize from Virginia Commonwealth University. Blind Huber, his second collection of poetry, appeared from Graywolf in 2002. Flynn has been awarded fellowships from the Library of Congress and the Guggenheim Foundation, as well as an Amy Lowell Traveling Poetry Fellowship, which allowed him to spend the last two years moving between Italy, Ireland, and Tanzania. Flynn has also written a memoir, Another Bullshit Night in Suck City (W. W. Norton, 2005), about his father and homelessness.
Robin Hemley (creative nonfiction) has won two Pushcart Prizes, the Nelson Algren Award, The George Garrett Award for Fiction, and the Hugh J. Luke Award from Prairie Schooner. He has published widely in literary magazines and has been anthologized in 20 Under 30 andthe Best Humor of 1994. His books include: Invented Eden (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2003), a nonfiction work about the history of the Tasaday, a group of about two dozen people discovered in a remote Philippine jungle; Nola (Graywolf Press, 1998) a memoir of his sister; Turning Life into Fiction (Story Press, 1994), a primer on writing craft; the novel The Last Studebaker (Graywolf Press, 1993); and All You Can Eat (Atlantic Monthly Press, 1988), a collection of stories.
Mary Hood (fiction) is best known for her work as a short story writer, although she regularly publishes reviews and essays in popular and literary magazines. Hood's first collection of stories, How Far She Went (University of Georgia Press, 1984), won the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction and the Southern Review / Louisiana State University Short Fiction Award. Two years later And Venus Is Blue (University of Georgia Press, 1986), Hood's second collection, won the Townsend Prize for Fiction and the Dixie Council of Authors and Journalists Author-of-the-Year Award. Hood sets her stories in her native Georgia, a terrain she knows from the southeastern coast to the northern Blue Ridge Mountains. In 1996 Hood made her novel debut with Familiar Heat (Warner Books, 1996).
John Holman (fiction) is the author of the novel Luminous Mysteries (Harvest/HBJ Book, 1999) and the widely acclaimed short story collection Squabble and Other Stories (Ticknor & Fields, 1990). Born in Durham, North Carolina, John Holman is currently an Associate Professor of English at Georgia State University in Atlanta, where he lives with his wife and their two children.
Rick Jackson (poetry) has published four books of poems including the 2000 Juniper Prize Winner Heartwall and the Cleveland 1992 State Prize Winner Alive All Day. Jackson has also published several chapbooks of translations: The Woman in the Land: Casare Pavese's Last Poems; Love's Veils: Imitations from Italian Poets; and The Half Life of Dreams. He has been awarded a fellowship from the National Endowment of Arts, a Fulbright Scholarship, and prizes from Pushcart and Prairie Schooner. His work has appeared in Best American Poems 1997 as well as several other anthologies. In May 2000, the President of Slovenia awarded Jackson the Order of Freedom Award for his contributions in editing and humanitarianism in Slovenia and the Balkans.
Jane Mead (poetry) is a graduate of The University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She’s the author of House of Poured-Out Waters (University of Illinois Press, 2001) and A Truck Marked Flammable (a chapbook from State Street Press, 1996). Her poems and essays have appeared in the New York Times, Best American Poetry of 1990, American Poetry Review, the Virginia Quarterly, Ploughshares, and the Antioch Review. She’s the recipient of grants and awards from the Whiting, Lannan, and Guggenheim Foundations, and currently teaches in the low-residency program at New England College.
Lia Purpura (poetry) is a graduate of the Iowa Writer's Workshop. She has published poems, essays, translations, and reviews in American Poetry Review, The Antioch Review, Iowa Review, New Letters, Parnassus: Poetry in Review, Ploughshares, and Verse. Her books include Increase (Georgia Press Review, 2000), a collection of lyrical essays that won the 1999 AWP Award in creative nonfiction; and poetry collections Stone Sky Lifting (Ohio State University Press, 2000) and The Brighter the Veil (Orchises Press, 1996). In 1992 Purpura was granted a Fulbright Fellowship to Poland to translate the works of four contemporary Polish poets, which resulted in her translation collections Poems of Grzegorz Musial: Berliner Tagebuch and Taste of Ash, both published by Fairleigh Dickinson University Press. Purpura is the recipient of a Millay Colony Fellowship, the Randall Jarrell Prize, and the Towson University Prize in Literature. She has also twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.