Return to the News Feed

“A Tribute to Randall Kenan: A Reading”

This year the Oxford Conference for the Book pays tribute to Randall Kenan, a longtime Oxford Conference for the Book participant and John and Renée Grisham Writer in Residence in 1997–98. Kenan passed away in August 2020, only days before his latest story collection If I Had Two Wings was published. In this conference session, past and current Grisham writers in residence Tommy Franklin, Mary Miller, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, and Maurice Carlos Ruffin read “The Eternal Glory That Is Ham Hocks” from the book. John T. Edge introduces the reading.

Kenan (1963–2020) was the former chancellor of the Fellowship of Southern Writers and a professor of English and comparative literature at the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill. He lived in Hillsborough, North Carolina. His previous books include A Visitation of Spirits (1989), Let the Dead Bury Their Dead (1992), James Baldwin: American Writer (1993), Walking on Water: Black American Lives at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century (1999), and The Fire This Time (2007).