2019 Visiting Writers
Julianna Baggott is the critically acclaimed, bestselling author of over twenty books, published under her own name and various pen names. Her novels Pure and Harriet Wolf’s Seventh Book of Wonders were New York Times Notable Books of the Year. Her essays and poems have appeared in The Washington Post, The New York Times Book Review, Poetry, Agni, Best American Poetry, and on NPR’s Talk of the Nation, All Things Considered, and Here and Now. There are over one hundred foreign editions of her books. She teaches screenwriting at Florida State University’s College Motion Picture Arts. You can find her six-week audio series on Efficient Creativity here; the first episode is free, available on SoundCloud.
Elise Blackwell is the author of five novels: Hunger, The Unnatural History of Cypress Parish, Grub, An Unfinished Score, and The Lower Quarter. Her work has been translated into several languages, and her books have been named to numerous "best of the year" lists, adapted for the stage, and served as the inspiration for a Decemberists’ song. Originally from southern Louisiana, she currently teaches at the University of South Carolina, where she is also host and organizer of The Open Book.
Peter Bognanni is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop. His debut novel, The House of Tomorrow, won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for first fiction and the ALA Alex Award and has been adapted into a feature film. He teaches creative writing at Macalester College in Saint Paul, Minnesota. His new book is called This Book is Not Yet Rated.
Songwriter, guitarist and singer, Kristin Hersh has released over 20 records solo, with Throwing Muses and 50FOOTWAVE. She is the author of the memoir Don’t Suck, Don’t Die, about her friendship with singer-songwriter Vic Chesnutt. She’s also the author of an acclaimed memoir — based on her teenage diary — about a particularly eventful year, titled Rat Girl in the USA (published by Penguin), and titled Paradoxical Undressing in the UK (published by Atlantic Books).
Erika Meitner is the winner of the 2018 National Jewish Book Award for Poetry and author of five books of poems: Holy Moly Carry Me; Inventory at the All-Night Drugstore; Makeshift Instructions for Vigilant Girls; and Ideal Cities, which was a 2009 National Poetry series winner; and Copia. Her poetry and prose have been widely anthologized. Born and raised in Queens and Long Island, NY, Meitner is a first-generation American: her father is from Israel; her mother was born in a refugee camp in Germany, which is where her maternal grandparents settled after surviving the Holocaust. Meitner is currently an associate professor of English at Virginia Tech, where she directs the MFA and undergraduate programs in Creative Writing.
Mark Winegardner's books include the novels The Veracruz Blues, Crooked River Burning, The Godfather Returns, and The Godfather’s Revenge, the story collection That’s True of Everybody and the textbook 3x33. He is now working on a novel called Florabama Normal. A Senior Writer for The Oxford American and a frequent contributor to ESPN The Magazine, Winegardner's work has also appeared in Details, Esquire, Five Points, GQ, The New York Times Magazine, Playboy, Ploughshares, and many others. Winegardner has taught at George Washington University and John Carroll University and is currently the the Burroway Chair of English & Distinguished Research Professor at Florida State University.
2018 Distinguished Visiting Writers
Adam Johnson is a Professor of English with emphasis in creative writing at Stanford University. Winner of a Whiting Award and Fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts and the American Academy in Berlin, he is the author of several books, including Fortune Smiles, which won the 2015 National Book Award, and the novel The Orphan Master’s Son, which was awarded the 2013 Pulitzer Prize. His fiction has appeared in Esquire, GQ, Playboy, Harper's Magazine, Granta, Tin House and The Best American Short Stories. His work has been translated into more than thirty languages.
Steve Almond is the author of nine books of fiction and non-fiction, most recently “Bad Stories: What the Hell Just Happened to Our Country.” His short fiction has appeared in the Best American Short Stories and Pushcart Anthologies, Best American Mysteries, and Best American Erotica. His essays have appeared in Tin House, the New York Times Magazine, and elsewhere. He hosts the New York Times podcast “Dear Sugars” with Cheryl Strayed.
Beth Ann Fennelly
Beth Ann Fennelly, Poet Laureate of Mississippi, teaches in the MFA Program at the University of Mississippi, where she was named Outstanding Teacher of the Year. She’s won grants and awards from the N.E.A., the United States Artists, a Pushcart, and a Fulbright to Brazil. Fennelly has published three poetry books: Open House, Tender Hooks, and Unmentionables, a book of nonfiction, Great with Child, and The Tilted World, a novel she co-authored with her husband, Tom Franklin. Heating & Cooling: 52 Micro-Memoirs will be published by Norton Oct. 10, ‘17. Fennelly and Franklin live in Oxford with their three children.
Tom Frankin, is the award-winning and New York Times bestselling author of Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter, which was nominated for nine awards and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the prestigious Crime Writers’ Association’s Gold Dagger Award. His previous works include the Edgar-winning story, Poachers, from the collection under the same title, as well as Hell at the Breech, Smonk, and The Tilted World, co-authored with Beth Ann Fennelly. Winner of a 2001 Guggenheim Fellowship, he teaches in the University of Mississippi’s MFA program.
Amina Gautier,is the author of three short story collections: At-Risk, Now We Will Be Happy and The Loss of All Lost Things. At-Risk was awarded the Flannery O’Connor Award and the Eric Hoffer Legacy Award. Now We Will Be Happy was awarded the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction, the International Latino Book Award, the Royal Palm Literary Award was a Finalist for the William Saroyan International Prize. The Loss of All Lost Things was awarded the Elixir Press Award in Fiction, the Phillis Wheatley Award, the Chicago Public Library’s 21st Century Award, and was a Finalist for the Hurston/Wright Award, the Paterson Prize, and the John Gardner Award. She has been the recipient of fellowships and grants from the American Antiquarian Society, the Camargo Foundation, the Chateau de Lavigny, Dora Maar House/Brown Foundation, the MacDowell Colony, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Woodrow Wilson Foundation.