Marlin Barton (Fiction) is the author of several award-winning books including The Dry Well, recipient of the Dictionary of Literary Biography Yearbook Award for a best first volume of short stories. He recently received the first Truman Capote Prize for short fiction by an Alabama writer, which will be presented during the annual Alabama Writers Symposium this year. He is also author of the story collection Dancing by the River and the novels A Broken Thing and The Cross Garden. His newest novel, Pasture Art, was released in March 2015. His work has appeared in Shenandoah, The Southern Review, VQR, Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards, and Best American Short Stories. Barton’s work has received a number of awards including the Andrew Lytle Prize from Sewanee Review and two Individual Artist Fellowships from the Alabama State Council on the Arts. He has taught at Clemson University, Auburn University-Montgomery, Huntingdon College, and Wichita State University. Barton currently lives in Montgomery, Alabama where he is assistant director of the Writing Our Stories project.
Suzanne Cleary (Poetry) is the author of Beauty Mark, published in 2013 as winner of the John Ciardi Prize for Poetry by BkMk Press (University of Missouri-Kansas City). Beauty Mark also won the Eugene Paul Nassar prize from Utica College, and received the 2014 Paterson Award for Literary Excellence. Her previous books are Trick Pear (2007) and Keeping Time (2002), both published by Carnegie Mellon. Her poems have appeared in journals including The Atlantic, Georgia Review, New Ohio Review, Poetry International, and Poetry London, and in anthologies including Best American Poetry, Poetry 180, and Don’t Leave Hungry: 50 Years of Southern Poetry Review. Recipient of a Pushcart Prize, she is Professor of English at the State University of New York at Rockland, and has taught at the Frost Place and the Hudson Valley Writers’ Center, where she also serves on the advisory board for Slapering Hol Press.
Denise Duhamel (Poetry) is the author of mmore than two dozen award-winning books of poetry. Her most recent book Blowout (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2013) was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her other titles include Ka-Ching! (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2009), Two and Two (Pittsburgh, 2005), Mille et un Sentiments (Firewheel, 2005), Queen for a Day: Selected and New Poems (Pittsburgh, 2001); The Star-Spangled Banner (Southern Illinois University Press, 1999); and Kinky (Orchises Press, 1997). A bilingual edition of her poems, Afortunada de mí (Lucky Me), translated into Spanish by Dagmar Buchholz and David Gonzalez, came out in 2008 with Bartleby Editores (Madrid.) She served as guest editor of The Best American Poetry 2013. A recipient of NEA and Guggenheim Fellowships, she is a professor at Florida International University in Miami.
Tommy Hays’ (Fiction) first middle-grade novel, What I Came to Tell You, was a VOYA Top Shelf Pick for Middle Grade Fiction and an Okra Pick by the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance. His novel, The Pleasure Was Mine, was a Finalist for the SIBA Fiction Award and was chosen for numerous community reads, including the One City, One Book program in Greensboro and the Amazing Read in Greenville, SC. The novel was read on NPR’s “Radio Reader” and South Carolina ETVRadio’s “Southern Read”.
His other novels are Sam’s Crossing and In the Family Way, a Book of the Month Club selection and winner of the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award. He’s published stories in Redbook, The Chattahoochee Review, storySouth and other publications. He’s Executive Director of the Great Smokies Writing Program and Lecturer in the Master of Liberal Arts and Sciences program at UNC Asheville. He’s a board member of the North Carolina Writers Network and a member of the National Book Critics Circle. He received his BA in English from Furman University and graduated from the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College.
Cary Holladay (Fiction) is the author of seven volumes of fiction, most recently, Horse People: Stories (LSU Press 2013) and The Deer in the Mirror (Ohio State UP 2013). Her awards include an O. Henry Prize and a literary fellowship from the NEA. A native of Virginia, she teaches at the University of Memphis.
Jim Minick (Nonfiction) is the author of The Blueberry Years, A Memoir of Farm and Family, and winner of the SIBA Best Nonfiction Book of the Year Award. Minick has also written a collection of essays, Finding a Clear Path, and two books of poetry, Her Secret Song and Burning Heaven. In 2008, the Virginia College Bookstore Association awarded Burning Heaven the Jefferson Cup for best book of the year. Minick has won grants, awards, and honors from the Southern Independent Booksellers Association, Southern Environmental Law Center, Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, Virginia Commission for the Arts, and Appalachian Writers Association.
Rick Mulkey (Poetry, Director of the MFA Program) is the author of four collections including Toward Any Darkness. His work appears in the anthologies, American Poetry: the Next Generation and The Southern Poetry Anthology: Volumes I and III, among others. Individual poems and essays have appeared in a variety of venues such as Georgia Review, Crab Orchard Review, Denver Quarterly, The Literary Review, Shenandoah, and Verse Daily.
Sheila O’Connor a literary and Y.A. fiction writer whose five novels: Until Tomorrow, Mr. Marsworth, Tokens of Grace, Where No Gods Came, Sparrow Road, and Keeping Safe the Stars, have received wide critical acclaim and awards, including the Michigan Prize for Literary Fiction, Minnesota Book Award, International Reading Award, and Midwest Booksellers Award, among others. Her books have been included in Best Books of the Year by Booklist, VOYA, Book Page, Bank Street, Chicago Public Library, and Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers. A multi-genre writer, her work has been anthologized in Riding Shotgun: Women Write about Their Mothers, The Next Parish Over, Mothers and Daughters, and Best of Helicon Nine. Her short stories, poems, and essays have been published in magazines and anthologies including Bellingham Review, Minnesota Monthly, Alaska Quarterly Review, Baltimore Review, Great River Review, Blue Earth Review, and others. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Sheila O’Connor has been awarded Bush Fellowships (2003, 2009), Minnesota State Arts Board Fellowships (2004, 2015), and a McKnight Fellowship. She has also been the recipient of artist residencies from The Studios of Key West, Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Studies, Tyrone Guthrie Center, and Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild. She is an Associate Professor in the MFA program at Hamline University where she serves as Fiction Editor for Water~Stone Review.
Robert Olmstead (Fiction and Nonfiction) is the author of eight books, including his recent award-winning novels: The Coldest Night, Far Bright Star, and Coal Black Horse, published by Algonquin Books. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship, an NEA grant, the Heartland Prize for Fiction, the Ohioana Book Award, and Western Writers of America Spur Award for best novel. He teaches widely in the US and Europe.
Leslie Pietrzyk’s (Fiction) collection of short stories, This Angel On My Chest, won the 2015 Drue Heinz Literature Prize and is forthcoming from University of Pittsburgh Press in fall 2015. She is the author of two novels, Pears on a Willow Tree (Avon) and A Year and a Day (William Morrow). Her award-winning short fiction and essays have appeared in more than fifty journals, including Shenandoah, The Gettysburg Review, The Iowa Review, Washingtonian, The Sun, Crab Orchard Review, New England Review, River Styx, Hobart, Midwestern Gothic, TriQuarterly, Cimarron Review, and The Washington Post Magazine. Organizations awarding fellowships include the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, Virginia Center for the Arts, Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, and the Hambidge Center. She blogs regularly about the writing life at Work-in-Progress and is the founder/editor of Redux, an online journal of previously published work not available elsewhere on the internet. She earned a BA from Northwestern University and an MFA from American University. Leslie is also a member of senior faculty at the Johns Hopkins Master of Arts Program in Writing, and has been a writer in residence at Wichita State University and Converse College. She lives in Alexandria, Virginia.
Susan Tekulve (Nonfiction and Fiction) is the author of the award-winning novel In the Garden of Stone and three short story collections: Savage Pilgrims, Wash Day and My Mother’s War Stories. Her stories and essays have appeared in Shenandoah, The Georgia Review, New Letters, Best New Writing 2007, The Indiana Review, Denver Quarterly, Puerto del Sol, Prairie Schooner, Another Chicago Magazine, North Dakota Quarterly,Connecticut Review, Beloit Fiction Journal, Crab Orchard Review, The Literary Review, Webdelsol, Black Warrior Review, Contemporary World Literature and The Kansas City Star. She has been awarded the South Carolina Novel Prize, the Winnow Press Award in Fiction, a Sewanee Writers’ Conference Tennessee Williams Scholarship, a Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference Scholarship, the Editor’s Choice Award in Best New Writing 2007, the gold medal in the Independent Publisher Book Awards as the best novel published in the South by an independent press in 2014, the 2012 winner of South Carolina First Novel Prize. and an AWP Intro Award. She served as a book reviewer for BOOK Magazine for five years, and she continues to contribute book reviews to academic journals, including The Literary Review, Prairie Schooner and New Letters. An Associate Professor of English, she teaches in the BFA and MFA in creative writing programs at Converse College.
Richard Tillinghast (Nonfiction and Poetry) is the author of twelve books of poetry and four of creative nonfiction. He studied with Robert Lowell at Harvard while getting his PhD there and later wrote a critical memoir, Robert Lowell’s Life and Work: Damaged Grandeur. With a Sinclair-Kennedy travel grant from Harvard he traveled in Europe in 1966-67, and again in 1990-91 with an Amy Lowell travel grant, also from Harvard. His Selected Poems came out in 2010, and in 2010 he was awarded a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship in poetry in addition to a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in translation for Dirty August, his versions of poems by the Turkish poet, Edip Cansever, written in collaboration with his daughter, Julia Clare Tillinghast. Poems of his have appeared in The Atlantic, Paris Review, The New Yorker, American Poetry Review, Poetry, Best American Poetry, The Best of Irish Poetry, and many other places. His 2012 travel book, An Armchair Traveller’s History of Istanbul, was nominated for the Royal Society of Literature’s Ondaatje Prize. He has been a faculty member at Harvard, Berkeley, the University of Michigan, the college program at San Quentin prison, and Sewanee. Beginning in 2005 Richard lived in Ireland for six years, moving back to this country in 2011. He currently teaches part-time in Converse College’s low-residency MFA program and divides his time between Sewanee, Tennessee, and the Big Island of Hawaii.