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2014 Writers & Scholars

Richard Anderson is Professor Emeritus of English, Huntingdon College. He lives in Montgomery, Alabama, where in retirement he continues to pursue his interest in American fiction, especially that of the American South. A graduate of the Universities of Washington and Lee, Virginia, and South Carolina, he taught for thirty years at Huntingdon. In his first years there, he was privileged to encounter a student named Andrew Hudgins, who has been his friend ever since. Dr. Anderson is best known in Alabama literary circles as the spouse of Nancy Grisham Anderson of Auburn University Montgomery.

Mark Childress was born in Monroeville, Alabama, and grew up in Ohio, Indiana, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama. He is the author of seven novels: A World Made of Fire, V For Victor, Tender, Crazy in Alabama, Gone for Good, One Mississippi, and Georgia Bottoms. His articles and reviews have appeared in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Times of London, San Francisco Chronicle, Saturday Review, Chicago Tribune, Philadelphia Inquirer, Travel and Leisure, and other national and international publications. After graduation from the University of Alabama in 1978, Childress was a reporter for The Birmingham News, Features Editor of Southern Living magazine, and Regional Editor of The Atlanta Journal and Constitution. He has been writing fiction full-time since 1987. Childress is the 2014 recipient of the Harper Lee Award for Alabama’s Distinguished Writer.

Kirk Curnutt is the author of thirteen books of fiction and criticism, including two novels, Breathing Out the Ghost and Dixie Noir, along with several studies of Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Gertrude Stein. As professor and chair of English at Troy University’s Montgomery Campus, he currently serves as president of the Alabama Writers’ Forum. His most recent book is Brian Wilson, a critical introduction to the Beach Boys’ mastermind in Equinox Publishing’s Icons of Pop Music series.

Glenn Feldman is the author or editor of nine books of original, blind, peer-reviewed scholarship. He has also published 150 articles and reviews, including 37 blind, peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters. His work has been nominated for the Bancroft Prize in American history. He sits on a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) board on “Thinking About Race Critically” project and co-edits The Modern South book series for The University of Alabama Press.

Wayne Flynt is Professor Emeritus of History at Auburn University and author or coauthor of eleven books, including Alabama in the Twentieth Century; Alabama Baptists: Southern Baptists in the Heart of Dixie; Poor But Proud: Alabama’s Poor Whites; Alabama: The History of a Deep South State; and Taking Christianity to China: Alabama Missionaries in the Middle Kingdom, 1850-1950. He has been recognized with numerous awards and honors, including the Lillian Smith Book Award, the Clarence Cason Award in Nonfiction Writing, the James F. Sulzby Book Award (twice), and the Alabama Library Association Award for nonfiction (twice). Flynt is the 2014 recipient of the Eugene Current Garcia Award for Alabama’s Distinguished Literary Scholar.

Anita Miller Garner, Professor of English and Creative Writing, is the current Laura Harrison Professor of English at the University of North Alabama where she teaches courses in literature, creative writing, and literary editing. She is the author of two collections of short fiction, Undeniable Truths (2009) and Southland (forthcoming 2014). She blogs about Southern culture at www.amgarner.blogspot.com. Her website is www.amgarner.com.

Roy Hoffman’s new novel, Come Landfall, is about three women on the Mississippi coast, the men they love, and the wars that shape them. He is also author of the novels Almost Family, winner of the Lillian Smith Award for fiction, and Chicken Dreaming Corn, endorsed by Harper Lee, and the nonfiction collections, Back Home, and Alabama Afternoons. His articles and reviews have appeared in the New York Times, Fortune, Southern Living, and his hometown newspaper in Mobile, the Press-Register, where he was a long-time staff writer. A graduate of Tulane who worked as a journalist and speechwriter in New York City before moving back south to Fairhope, he received the Clarence Cason Award in career nonfiction from the University of Alabama, and is on the faculty of the Spalding University Brief Residency MFA in Writing Program in Louisville, KY.

Jennifer Horne is the author of a collection of poems, Bottle Tree (2010), a short story collection, Tell the World You’re a Wildflower (forthcoming from UA Press in 2014), the editor of Working the Dirt: An Anthology of Southern Poets (2003), and co-editor, with Wendy Reed, of All Out of Faith: Southern Women on Spirituality (2006) and Circling Faith: Southern Women on Spirituality (2012). Her story “The Other Shoe” appears in The Shoe Burnin’: Stories of Southern Soul (2013). She has received an Alabama State Council on the Arts Literature Fellowship and has been a Seaside Institute “Escape to Create” artist in residence. She currently teaches in the University of Alabama Honors College  and is at work on a biography of Sara Mayfield. Her article on Mayfield, “Sara Mayfield: A Woman of Her Times,” has recently been accepted for publication in Alabama Heritage magazine.

Bobby Horton was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama. His life long passion for music and history began at an early age. With a trumpet playing father and a banjo-playing grandfather, he was exposed to a varied menu of music – from the sound of the big bands, jazz combos and classical to the old time sounds of Southern gospel, sacred harp, and “hillbilly” music. A seasoned performer, Horton is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer, and music historian. He has performed with the musical- comedy trio Three On a String, throughout the United States and Canada for 35 plus years. He has also produced and performed music scores for thirteen PBS films by Ken Burns including “The Civil War” and “Baseball,” two films for The A&E network, and sixteen films for The National Park Service. His series of recordings of authentic period music has been acclaimed by historical organizations and publications through America and Europe.

Andrew Hudgins was born in Killeen, Texas, in 1951 and educated at Huntingdon College and the University of Alabama. He earned his M.F.A. from the University of Iowa in 1983. His volumes of poetry include Ecstatic in the Poison; Babylon in a Jar; The Glass Hammer: A Southern Childhood; The Never-Ending: New Poems, a finalist for the National Book Awards; After the Lost War: A Narrative, which received the Poetry Prize; and Saints and Strangers, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. He is also the author of a book of essays, The Glass Anvil. Hudgins’s awards and honors include the Witter Bynner Award for Poetry, the Hanes Poetry Prize, and fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Ingram Merrill Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Robert Inman is the author of five novels: The Governor’s Lady (2013), Home Fires Burning, Old Dogs and Children, Dairy Queen Days and Captain Saturday. He is also the author of Coming Home: Life, Love and All Things Southern and The Christmas Bus.  Inman has written screenplays for six motion pictures for television, two of which have been “Hallmark Hall of Fame” presentations. His script for The Summer of Ben Tyler, a Hallmark production, won the Writers’ Guild of America Award as the best original television screenplay of 1997. His other Hallmark feature was Home Fires Burning, a 1989 adaptation of his novel. He is also the author of seven stage plays, including two musicals, published by Dramatic Publishing Company.

Sandra Jaffe was born in Birmingham, Alabama, and graduated from one of the high schools featured in her documentary, “Our Mockingbird.” Her first film, “Jazz In The Magic City,” is a 16mm short, about the legacy of jazz musicians who were trained by strict disciplinarian bandleader John “Fess” Whatley at Industrial High, Birmingham’s only black high school at that time, said to be the largest in America. The film is permanently housed at the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame in Birmingham, where it has been seen by many thousands of visitors. Sandra Jaffe is also a screenwriter and currently teaches screenwriting at Northeastern University in Boston. “Our Mockingbird” was featured, pre-release, in The Washington Post and on MSNBC and will be widely distributed in 2014.

May Lamar is an award-winning newspaper reporter and advertising copywriter whose career goal to write fiction full time was realized three years ago. Brother Sid, A Novel of Sidney Lanier is Lamar’s first published novel. Other published books include the popular regional classic, Hunting, The Southern Tradition,  co-written by Rich Donnell with photography by Chip Cooper. Lamar currently is at work on the historical novel, Book of Gifts, a story of Alabama-born painter Anne Goldthwaite that starts as the Creek Nation vanishes, moves through the War Between the States to the American Girls’ Club in Paris and ends in a beer-filled Greenwich Village hospital room.

Charles McNair, a native of the Yellowhammer State of Alabama, released his first novel, Land O’ Goshen, to critical acclaim. Land O’ Goshen was a nominee for the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1994. His long-awaited second novel, Pickett’s Charge, published in September 2013 from the University of West Alabama’s Livingston Press. McNair currently lives in Atlanta where he writes full-time, combining freelance literary duties with assignments for corporations and businesses, including “Power of Storytelling” workshops. Since 2005, he has served as Books Editor for Paste magazine and has shared his reviews on Atlanta radio station WMLB 1690 AM. McNair is currently at work on his third novel, The Epicureans.

Lisa Graves Minor is a graduate of the University of North Alabama, where she received the bachelor of science degree with highest honors. In 1980, she furthered her education at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, where she earned the Master of Arts and Ph.D. degrees in English literature. Dr. Minor is Professor of English at the University of North Alabama. Dr. Minor’s honors and awards include Outstanding Young Women of America, the UNA Alumni Association Faculty/Staff Service Award, the Alpha Lambda Delta Outstanding Teaching Award, the Black Student Alliance Teacher of the Year, and Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers. In 2001 and 2002, she received the President’s Award of Excellence from UNA President Robert L. Potts. In 2009, she was the recipient of the Eleanor Gaunder Teaching Excellence Award given by the UNA chapter of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi.  

New York Times bestselling author Sena Jeter Naslund’s most recent novel is The Fountain of St. James Court; Or Portrait of the Artist as an Old Woman. Her earlier books include the short story collections Ice Skating at the North Pole and The Disobedience of Water, and the novels Adam & Eve, Abundance, A Novel of Marie Antoinette, The Animal Way to Love, Sherlock in Love, Ahab’s Wife and Four Spirits. With Elaine W. Hughes, Naslund is coauthor of a stage version of her civil rights novel Four Spirits, commissioned by the Alabama Shakespeare Festival Theatre and fully produced at the University of Alabama-Huntsville. Naslund is a recipient of the Harper Lee Award, the Hall-Waters Southern Prize, the Southeastern Library Association Award, and the Alabama Library Association Award. Naslund is currently Writer in Residence and Distinguished Teaching Professor at the University of Louisville, Program Director of the Spalding University brief-residency Master of Fine Arts in Writing, and editor of Spalding’s Fleur-de-Lis Press and The Louisville Review, which she founded in 1976.

Don Noble, Professor Emeritus of English at UA, has been the host of the Emmy-nominated Alabama Public Television literary interview show Bookmark since 1988. Since 2002 his weekly reviews of fiction and nonfiction, mainly Southern, have been broadcast on Alabama Public Radio. He has published widely in American literature, especially Southern literature. In 2000, Noble received the Eugene Current-Garcia Award for Alabama’s Distinguished Literary Scholar, and in 2013 he received the Wayne Greenhaw Service Award in Recognition of Exemplary Service from the Alabama Humanities Foundation. With Brent Davis, he received a regional Emmy in 1996 for Excellence in Screenwriting for the documentary, I’m in the Truth Business: William Bradford Huie.

Jacqueline Allen Trimble began her writing life the day she heard the word “swiftly” in Mrs. Edna T. Mosley’s first grade class. It seemed a perfect blend of sound and sense. A few years later, she discovered Edgar Allan Poe and T.S. Eliot and decided to become a poet. After winning a few writing contests in high school, she earned gas money as a Huntingdon College English major by charging a dollar a line for customized occasional verse. Though her heart belonged to poetry, pragmatism, if one may make such an association in this case, led her to earn an MA and a PhD in English from the University of Alabama. For almost three decades, she has taught composition, American literature, African-American literature, women’s literature, creative writing, Southern literature and critical theory and has won numerous teaching awards. Her poetry collection American Happiness is forthcoming from New South Books. She currently chairs the Department of Languages and Literatures at Alabama State University. 

Adam Vines is an assistant professor of English at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he is editor of Birmingham Poetry Review. He has published recent poems in Poetry, Southwest Review, The Kenyon Review, Gulf Coast, among others. He is the author of The Coal Life. The Alabama State Council on the Arts awarded him a 2013 Individual Artist Fellowship. During the summers, he is on faculty at the Ada Long Creative Writing Workshop for high school students and is on staff at The Sewanee Writers’ Conference.

Jason Walker is a graduate student at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he interns for Birmingham Poetry Review and helps read for poemmemoirstory. Recent writings have appeared in Monkeybicycle, Hawai’i Pacific Review, and Cellpoems.

Koethi Zan is an Alabama native whose international best seller, The Never List,  is being adapted for television and being produced by CBS Television Studios. Born in  Opp, Alabama, Zan attended Birmingham-Southern College and Yale Law School. Then, while Senior Vice President & Deputy General Counsel at MTV, Zan decided to fulfill a lifelong dream on the side, and in the early mornings she wrote a crime novel, The Never List. Koethi, her husband, Stephen Metcalf, and their two daughters, live in an old farmhouse in a rural community in upstate New York.