2013 Oxford Conference for the Book Guest Authors
*Subject to change
Vladimir Alexandrov received a Ph. D. in comparative literature from Princeton and taught at Harvard before moving to Yale, where he is now B. E. Bensinger Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures. He is the author of several books and numerous articles on various Russian writers and topics. The Black Russian (Grove/Atlantic , March 2013) is his new biography of the remarkable and largely forgotten Frederick Bruce Thomas, who was born to former slaves in Mississippi in 1872 and who, against all odds, became a millionaire impresario in pre-Revolutionary Moscow and was the first to import jazz to Constantinople (www.valexandrov.com).
Mary Amato is an award-winning author and singer songwriter. Her books have been translated into foreign languages, optioned for television, and produced onstage. Her many awards include: The Buckeye Children’s Book Awards, the Maud Hart Lovelace Award, and Arizona Young Readers Award. She enjoys teaching workshops on creative writing and songwriting.
Judith H. Bonner is Senior Curator/Curator of Art for The Historic New Orleans Collection. She has curated numerous exhibitions there and at the New Orleans Museum of Art. She writes extensively about art of the South, with a focus on Louisiana. Since 1989 she has published the annual bibliography on the art and architecture of the South in the Southern Quarterly, for which she serves on its editorial board. She has taught at Xavier University of Louisiana and the United States Air Force Academy. Bonner is co-author for the Art and Architecture volume of The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture.
Nic Brown is the author of the novel Doubles and the story collection Floodmarkers, which was selected as an Editor’s Choice by The New York Times Book Review. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Garden & Gun, and The Harvard Review, among many other publications. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and Columbia University, he is currently the John and Renee Grisham Writer in Residence at the University of Mississippi.
Julie Cantrell New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author, Julie Cantrell was the editor-in-chief of the Southern Literary Review and received the 2012 Mississippi Arts Commission Literary Fellowship. She has been a freelance writer for a decade and has contributed to more than a dozen books. Julie and her family now live in Oxford, Mississippi where they operate Valley House Farm. A speech-language pathologist and literacy advocate, Julie also teaches English as a second language. Her second novel, When Mountains Move, is set to follow her bestselling debut, Into the Free. It hits shelves September, 2013.
Brian Carpenter is a freelance writer and co-editor of the anthology Grit Lit: A Rough South Reader. A Tennessee native, he graduated from Centre College and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His articles on the South have appeared in various books and journals, including Southern Cultures, The Southern Review, and the anthology Cornbread Nation: The Best of Southern Food Writing.
Nicole Cooley grew up in New Orleans and now lives outside of New York City. She is the author of four books of poems, most recently Breach (LSU Press, 2010) about Hurricane Katrina and the Gulf Coast, and Milk Dress (Alice James Books 2010). She has also published a novel Judy Garland, Ginger Love with Harper Collins. She has been awarded the Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American Poets, an NEA Grant in Fiction and a fellowship from the American Antiquarian Society. She is now writing a non-fiction book, My Dollhouse, Myself: Miniature Histories and a collection of poems based on small museums in the US. She directs the MFA Program in Creative Writing and Literary Translation at Queens College-City University of New York where she is a professor of English.
William Dunlap has distinguished himself as an artist, arts commentator, and educator since receiving his MFA from the University of Mississippi in 1969. His work can be found at museums across the nation and at United States embassies throughout the world. Dunlap, the book about his work, won the 2007 Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Visual Arts Award.
John T Edge is the author or editor of more than ten books, including the foodways volume of the New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture, Cornbread Nation: the Best of Southern Food Writing, and Southern Belly: The Ultimate Food Lover’s Companion to the South. He also writes for a range of different publications, including The New York Times.
W. Ralph Eubanks is the author of The House at the End of the Road: The Story of Three Generations of an Interracial Family in the American South and Ever Is a Long Time: A Journey Into Mississippi’s Dark Past, which Washington Post book critic Jonathan Yardley named one of the best nonfiction books of 2003. Since 1995 he has been director of publishing at the Library of Congress and has been involved in the editorial development of numerous books based on the collections of the Library, most recently The Southern Journey of Alan Lomax.
Beth Ann Fennelly directs the MFA Program at Ole Miss where she was named the 2011 Outstanding Liberal Arts Teacher of the Year. She’s won grants from the N.E.A., United States Artists, and a Fulbright to Brazil. Fennelly has published three books of poetry and one of nonfiction, all with W. W. Norton. She is co-authoring a novel with her husband, Tom Franklin. They live in Oxford with their three children.
Ann Fisher-Wirth’s fourth book of poems, Dream Cabinet, was published by Wings Press in 2012. Her other books of poems are Carta Marina, Blue Window, and Five Terraces. She is coeditor of Ecopoetry: A Contemporary American Anthology, published early in 2013. Her poems appear widely and have received numerous awards. She has had senior Fulbrights to Switzerland and Sweden, and has served as President of the 1000-member international Association for the Study of Literature and Environment. She teaches at the University of Mississippi, where she also directs the minor in Environmental Studies. And she teaches yoga at Southern Star Yoga Studio in Oxford, MS.
Ashley Fly As an undergraduate at Ole Miss, Ashley studied Spanish and Linguistics, and received a Bachelor’s Degree in 2008. She completed a Master’s Degree at this university as well in Spanish with a minor in TESL in 2011. Currently she is an Instructor of ESL in the Intensive English Program, where she teaches several skill areas including Reading, Writing, Academic Vocabulary and Presentation Skills, and Literature in English.
Tom Franklin is a widely published author of fiction and nonfiction. He has published the story collection Poachers and three novels, Hell at the Breech, Smonk, and Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter. Recipient of a 2001 Guggenheim Fellowship, he teaches at the University of Mississippi’s MFA program.
Juan Carlos Galeano is a poet, translator, and essayist born in the Amazon region of Colombia. He has published several books of poetry, and has translated North American poets into Spanish. His poetry inspired by Amazonian cosmologies and the modern world, has been anthologized and published in international journals such Casa de las Américas (Cuba), The Atlantic Monthly and Ploughshares (U.S.). He lives in Tallahassee, Florida, where he teaches Latin American poetry and Amazonian Cultures at Florida State University.
Forrest Gander is a writer and translator with degrees in geology and English literature. His most recent book, a collaboration with John Kinsella, is Redstart: an Ecological Poetics. His book Core Samples from the World was a 2012 finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award. His recent translations include Watchword by Pura López Colomé and, with Kyoko Yoshida, Spectacle & Pigsty Selected Poems of Kiwao Nomura, winner of the Best Translated Book Award in 2012. Gander is a recipient of grants from the Library of Congress, the Guggenheim, Howard, Whiting and United States Artists Foundations.
Rob Griffith’s latest book is The Moon from Every Window (David Robert Books, 2011), and his previous book, A Matinee in Plato’s Cave, was the winner of the 2009 Best Book of Indiana Award. His work has appeared in Poetry, The North American Review, The Oxford American, and many others. He is the editor of the journal Measure and teaches in the Creative Writing Program at the University of Evansville, Indiana.
J. Richard Gruber Ph.D., Director Emeritus of the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, is active as an independent curator, art historian and writer. He served as Director of the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, Director of the Wichita Art Museum, and Deputy Director of the Morris Museum of Art. Co-Editor and an author of A Unique Slant of Light: The Bicentennial History of Art in Louisiana (2012), co-author of books on Mississippi artists William Hollingsworth and George Wardlaw (2012), he also has written on artists including William Dunlap, Elliott Daingerfield, Robert Rauschenberg, Benny Andrews, William Christenberry and Thomas Hart Benton.
Robert W. Hamblin is Professor of English and Director of the Center for Faulkner Studies at Southeast Missouri State University, where he has taught since 1965. A native of northeast Mississippi, he holds M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Mississippi, where he studied Faulkner with John Pilkington. Hamblin is the author or editor of 27 books, the most recent ones being This House, This Town (memoir); Crossroads: Poems of a Mississippi Childhood; Dust and Light: Poems, After Pierre Teilhard de Chardin; Faulkner and Chopin; and Faulkner and Morrison.
Lance Herrington Since 2007, Lance Herrington has taught English as a second language courses at the University of Mississippi. He also serves as the Coordinator of Instructional Support Services in the Intensive English Program at UM. He earned a B.A. in Art History from the University of Texas, and M.A. in Art History from the University of Mississippi, before returning to UM to work and study, earning a second M.A. in TESL. He has taught English as a foreign language in Osaka, Japan, and Quito, Ecuador.
Skip Horack is a former Jones Lecturer at Stanford, where he was also a Wallace Stegner Fellow. His short story collection The Southern Cross won the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference 2008 Bakeless Fiction Prize and was published by Mariner Books/Houghton Mifflin-Harcourt in August 2009. His novel The Eden Hunter was published by Counterpoint in August 2010 and was a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice. His work has also appeared in Oxford American, the Southeast Review, the Southern Review, Epoch, Narrative Magazine, and elsewhere. He is currently an assistant professor of creative writing at Auburn University.
Richard Howorth is founder of Square Books in Oxford, Mississippi, and past president of the American Booksellers Association. He served as mayor of Oxford from 2001 to 2009 and was honored with the 2008 Authors Guild Award for Distinguished Service to the Literary Community.
Eddie Huang is the chef and proprietor of Baohaus restaurant in New York City. He’s the host of his own series with Vice called “Fresh Off the Boat” that debuted in October of 2012. He’s appeared on Vice’s “Munchies” series, hosted a special called “Cheap Eats” on the Cooking Channel, appeared on Anthony Bourdain’s “24-Hour Layover” and appeared as a re-occuring commentator on Cooking Channel’s “Unique Eats” series. He’s written for Eater.com, the New York Observer, Grantland, and his own popular blog, “Fresh Off the Boat.” He resides in New York City. Huang’s new book Fresh Off the Boat recasts the immigrant’s story for the twenty-first century—it’s a story of food, family, and the forging of a new notion of what it means to be American. Photo taken by Atisha Paulson.
Kristopher Jansma is a lecturer at Manhattanville College and SUNY Purchase, and writes a monthly column for Electric Literature’s blog, “The Outlet.” His short stories and essays have appeared in numerous literary journals and he was selected as a finalist for BOMB Magazine’s 2011 Fiction Contest. Kristopher lives with his wife in Brooklyn, NY.
Owen King is a graduate of Vassar College and holds an MFA from the Columbia University School of the Arts. He is the author of We’re All in This Together: A Novella and Stories and Double Feature: A Novel. His fiction and non-fiction has appeared in Fairy Tale Review, Guernica, One Story, Paste Magazine, and Prairie Schooner among other publications. Owen has taught creative writing at Columbia University and Fordham University. He lives in New York.
Michael Knight is the author of two novels, two collections of short stories and a collection of novellas. His fiction has appeared in magazines and journals like The New Yorker, Oxford American, Paris Review and The Southern Review and has been anthologized in Best American Mystery Stories and New Stories from the South: The Year’s Best 1999, 2003, 2004 and 2009. He lives in Knoxville with his wife and two daughters and teaches creative writing at the University of Tennessee.
Barbara Matusow, a veteran writer and former television producer, was a senior staff writer at Washingtonian Magazine for 15 years where she remains a contributing editor. The author of The Evening Stars: The Making of the Network New Anchor, a best-seller published by Houghton Mifflin, she is a three-time winner of the William Allen White Gold medal for magazine criticism and numerous other journalism awards. She was married to celebrated journalist Jack Nelson and edited his posthumous memoir, Scoop: The Evolution of a Southern Reporter, published in 2013 by the University Press of Mississippi.
Jill McCorkle is the author of nine previous books—four story collections and five novels—five of which have been selected as New York Times Notable Books. The recipient of the New England Book Award, the John Dos Passos Prize for Excellence in Literature, and the North Carolina Prize for Literature, she teaches writing at North Carolina State University and lives in Hillsborough, North Carolina.
Kathryn McKee is McMullan Associate Professor of Southern Studies and Associate Professor of English at the University of Mississippi. She is co-editor, with Deborah Barker, of American Cinema and the Southern Imaginary, and her articles have appeared in various journals, including American Literature, Legacy, Southern Literary Journal, and Mississippi Quarterly. She has a PhD in American Literature from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. McKee’s areas of scholarly research include nineteenth-century American literature, the literature and culture of the nineteenth-century U.S. South, writing by women, global south studies, film studies, and humor studies. She currently serves as the Graduate Program Coordinator for Southern Studies.
M. J. O’Brien is an independent writer who lives and works in Northern Virginia. His interest in the civil rights era was sparked as a Catholic seminarian during the late 1960s and further deepened as he studied the non-violent philosophies of Mohandas Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Dorothy Day. He graduated with a B.A. in Philosopy from St. Mary’s Seminary in Catonsville, Maryland and earned a second Bachelors Degree in Communications from The American University in Washington, D.C. With his wife, Allyson McGill, O’Brien adopted three African-American children and through that experience developed a keen interest in race relations.
Chris Offutt grew up in Haldeman, Kentucky, a former mining town of 200 people. He has published five books about people from the hills of Kentucky. The work has been recognized by fellowships from the NEA, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Lannan Foundation. His works has also received a Whiting Writer award, and an award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters for “fiction that takes risks.” He’s also written comic books, essays, and stage plays. His TV work includes scripts for True Blood, Weeds, and Treme, and two pilots. His work appears in many anthologies, is widely translated, and taught in high schools and college. He lives in Mississippi with his family and two dogs.
Ted Ownby has a joint appointment in History and Southern Studies at the University of Mississippi, and is the Director of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture. He is the author of American Dreams in Mississippi: Consumers, Poverty, and Culture, 1830-1998 (1999) and Subduing Satan: Religion, Recreation and Manhood in the Rural South, 1865-1920 (1990) and editor of Black and White: Cultural Interaction in the Antebellum South (1993). He is the coeditor of the Mississippi Encyclopedia and writes and teaches classes on the social and cultural history of the American South.
Estill Curtis Pennington has been a student of painting in the South for the past 30 years. He is the author of several catalogs and monographs including William Edward West: Kentucky Painter and Romantic Spirits: 19th century art from the Johnson Collection. Most recently he served as co-editor of The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture: Art & Architecture.
Jamie Quatro Jamie Quatro’s debut story collection, I Want To Show You More, is an Indie Next Pick for March 2013. Her stories are anthologized in the PEN/O.Henry Prize Stories and in Forty Stories: New Writing from Harper Perennial. Her work has also appeared in The Kenyon Review, Tin House, Ploughshares, The Southern Review, AGNI, McSweeney’s, Guernica, and elsewhere. A finalist for the Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Short Fiction and the winner of the 2011 American Short Fiction story contest, she is the recipient of fellowships from Yaddo and the MacDowell Colony, and was the Borchardt Scholar at the 2011 Sewanee Writers’ Conference. Quatro holds graduate degrees from the College of William and Mary and the Bennington College Writing Seminars, and is currently a Contributing Editor at the Oxford American. She lives with her family in Lookout Mountain, Georgia. Photo taken by Kristin Brock.
Ron Rash is the author of The Cove and of the 2009 PEN/Faulkner Finalist and New York Times bestseller Serena, in addition to three other prizewinning novels, One Foot in Eden, Saints at the River, and The World Made Straight; four collections of poems; and four collections of stories, including Burning Bright, which won the 2010 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, and Chemistry and Other Stories, which was a finalist for the 2007 PEN/Faulkner Award. Twice the recipient of the O. Henry Prize, he teaches at Western Carolina University. Photo taken by Mark Haskett.
Alice Randall is the author of The Wind Done Gone, Pushkin and the Queen of Spades, Rebel Yell, and Ada’s Rules. Writer-in-Residence at Vanderbilt University Randall teaches: Country Lyric in American Culture; Soul Food, in text and as text; and Bedtime in the Briarpatch, an intensive look at African-American children’s literature. The only Black woman to write a number one country song and a Harvard graduate Randall has emerged as an innovative food activist committed to reforms that support healthier bodies and healthier communities.
Jewell Parker Rhodes is the author of Ninth Ward, a Coretta Scott King Honor Book, a Today Show Al’s Book Club Pick, and a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year. Sugar, her second middle grade novel, will be published in May. Her adult novels are Voodoo Dreams, Magic City, Douglass’ Women,Season, Moon, and Hurricane. Her honors include the American Book Award, the Black Caucus of the American Library Award for Literary Excellence, the PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Award for Outstanding Writing, and an NEA. She is the Founding Director of the ASU’s Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing.
Leila W. Salisbury is the director of the University Press of Mississippi (UPM). Prior to her appointment, she was marketing director of the University Press of Kentucky. At UPM, she is responsible for the overall direction and management of the scholarly publishing operation, its editorial focus, fundraising, and new technology initiatives and investments. She also acquires the regional and film/popular culture studies lists and serves as primary liaison between the Press and UPM’s eight state consortium campuses. She is active in the Association of American University Presses and writes a regular column for the library publication Against the Grain.
Ben Sandmel is a New Orleans-based journalist, folklorist, drummer, and producer. He is the author of Ernie K-Doe: The R&B Emperor of New Orleans (published by The Historic New Orleans Collection in 2012), and a book about zydeco. Sandmel writes for national magazines, pens liner notes on a wide gamut of music, and contributes to academic anthologies. He’s currently completing an MA in Musicology at Tulane University, and writing experiential-based fiction about the Mississippi River. A working musician, Sandmel has produced and played drums on albums including the Grammy-nominated Deep Water by the Cajun/western swing band The Hackberry Ramblers.
Laura-Gray Street is author of Pigment and Fume and co-editor of The Ecopoetry Anthology. Her work has appeared in many journals and online; won editors’ prizes from The Greensboro Review, Isotope, and Terrain.org; and received fellowships from the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the Artist House at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. She teaches at Randolph College in Lynchburg, VA.
Alex Taylor lives in Rosine, Kentucky. His work has appeared in The Louisville Courier-Journal, Black Warrior Review, American Short Fiction, The Oxford American and elsewhere. His collection The Name of the Nearest River was published by Sarabande Books in 2010.
Ruth Thompson bio to come
Brad Watson is the author of Last Days of the Dog-Men, The Heaven of Mercury, and Aliens in The Prime of Their Lives. He’s held fellowships through the National Endowment for the Arts, the Lannan Foundation, and The Guggenheim Foundation. His books have received awards from The American Academy of Arts and Letters, The Great Lakes Colleges Association, The Southern Book Critics Circle, and The Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters. Mercury was a finalist for the 2002 National Book Award in Fiction. Aliens was a finalist for The St. Francis College Literary Award and The PEN/Faulkner Award in Fiction. Photo taken by Elizabeth Love.
Curtis Wilkie graduated from the University of Mississippi in 1963. He was a national and foreign correspondent for the Boston Globe for twenty-six years. Wilkie is the author of Dixie: A Personal Odyssey Through Events That Shaped the Modern South and coauthor of Arkansas Mischief: Birth of a National Scandal. His most recent book is The Fall of the House of Zeus: The Rise and Ruin of America’s Most Powerful Trial Lawyer. He and his wife, Nancy, live in Oxford where he teaches journalism and is a fellow at the Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics at Ole Miss.
Michael Williams earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and sociology, a Master of Arts in history, and the Doctor of Philosophy in history from the University of Mississippi. He was also among the University’s first Phi Beta Kappa initiating class. His research and teaching interests include social and political resistance movements, Civil Rights struggle, black intellectuals and radicalism, and various aspects of African history. He is currently an assistant professor of history and African American studies at Mississippi State University and is the author of Medgar Evers: Mississippi Martyr as well as other article and forthcoming essay publications.
Robert M. Winkler has been teaching ESL for the past seven years. In 2004, he obtained his TESOL Certificate from Transworld School in San Francisco, CA. Subsequently he lived in Guatemala, where he learned Spanish and taught English at Universidad Mesoamericana, as well as at a K-5 elementary school. Since moving to Mississippi in 2006, he has taught at Tupelo High School and South Pontotoc School, where he taught ELL students in all grades K-12. Currently he teaches ESL in the Oxford Public School District. Besides his work in language instruction, Winkler holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Lehigh University.