Chantel Acevedo’s first novel, Love and Ghost Letters won the Latino International Book Award and was a finalist for the Connecticut Book of the Year. Acevedo was named a Literature Fellow by the Alabama State Council on the Arts in 2012. She is currently an Associate Professor of English and Alumni Writer-in-Residence at Auburn University, where she founded the Auburn Writers Conference and edits the Southern Humanities Review.
Marlin Barton’s most recent book is a novel, The Cross Garden (Frederic C. Beil, 2011). Barton’s collection of stories, The Dry Well (Beil, 2001), received the Dictionary of Literary Biography Yearbook Award for the best first volume of short stories published that year. Other books include a novel, A Broken Thing (Beil, 2003), and a second collection of stories, Dancing by the River (Beil, 2005). He teaches in, and helps direct, the Writing Our Stories project, a program for juvenile offenders in Alabama. He also teaches in the low-residency MFA program at Converse College.
Rick Bragg, the 2009 Harper Lee Award winner, is the bestselling and critically acclaimed author of Southern non-fiction, including a trio of books on his Calhoun County family that have become anthems of working-class American—All Over but the Shoutin’ (1998), Ava’s Man (2001) and The Prince of Frogtown (2008). The story of his mother’s sacrifices in raising him and his brothers in 1960s Alabama, All Over But the Shoutin’ is one of the most often read books in community and college wide reads. He is also the author of I Am a Soldier,Too: The Jessica Lynch Story (2004), and a collection of newspaper stories, “Somebody Told Me” (2001).
Kirk Curnutt is the author of thirteen books of fiction and criticism, including two novels, Breathing Out the Ghost (2008) and Dixie Noir (2009), 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.
Anita Miller Garner, Associate Professor of English, has taught Southern literature and fiction writing at Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of North Alabama and has lectured on Alabama Women Writers with the Speakers’ Bureau of the Alabama Humanities Foundation. A founding board member and former president of Alabama Writers’ Forum, she has served as poetry editor of New Virginia Review and a fiction editor of storySouth. Her collection of short fiction Undeniable Truths was published in 2009. Another collection, Southland, is forthcoming Spring 2012.
Nancy Dorman-Hickson is the co-author of Diplomacy and Diamonds (Hachette’s Center Street, 2011), the memoir of Joanne King Herring who was portrayed by Julia Roberts in the film Charlie Wilson’s War. Before freelancing, Dorman-Hickson was an editor with Southern Living and Progressive Farmer magazines. She was a top five finalist for the National Magazine Award and was named “Writer of the Year” multiple times by the American Agricultural Editors Association. She also has received awards from the National Federation of Press Women and its affiliate chapter, Alabama Media Professionals, as well as The Videographer Award of Distinction for a film documentary on washerwoman Oseola McCarty.
Peter Huggins is the author of three books of poems, Necessary Acts, Blue Angels, and Hard Facts as well as the forthcoming Mosquitoes; he has published over 300 poems in more than 100 journals, magazines, and anthologies. Among other awards and honors he has received a literature fellowship in poetry from the Alabama State Council on the Arts. His picture book, Trosclair and the Alligator, has appeared on the PBS show Between the Lions and was honored as a best book by Bank Street and CCBC; his novel for younger readers is In the Company of Owls. He teaches in the English Department at Auburn University.
Tom Kimmel jokes that he’s the only singer-songwriter to have written songs for Captain Kangaroo, Miami Vice and Touched By An Angel. But it’s true! Tom’s songs have appeared on albums by dozens of artists from Linda Ronstadt to Johnny Cash, in feature films , and television shows. He has released seven albums, including his latest, Light of Day, and a newly published book of poetry, The Sweetest and the Meanest. Tom Kimmel tours widely performing concerts, leading songwriting and creative living workshops, and weaving his songs and poetry in one man theater.
Cassandra King’s first novel, Making Waves in Zion, was published in 1995 by River City Press and reissued in 2004 by Hyperion. Her second novel, The Sunday Wife (2002), was a Booksense Pick, a People Magazine Page-Turner of the Week, a Literary Guild Book-of-the-Month selection, and a Books-a-Million President’s Pick. Released in 2005, King’s third novel, The Same Sweet Girls, became a #1 Booksense Selection and Booksense bestseller, a Southeastern Bookseller Association bestseller, a New York Post Required Reading selection, and a Literary Guild Book-of-the-Month Club selection, and a Southeastern Bookseller Association Bestseller. King’s latest novel, Queen of Broken Hearts, has been hailed as “wonderful,” “uplifting,” “absolutely fabulous,” and filled with irresistible characters” by fellow Southern writers Sandra Brown, Fannie Flagg, Dorothea Benton Frank. A native of L.A. (Lower Alabama), King currently lives in the Low Country of South Carolina with her husband, novelist Pat Conroy, whom she met when he wrote a blurb for Making Waves.
Jay Lamar is the director of the Caroline Marshall Draughon Center for the Arts & Humanities, Auburn University's College of Liberal Arts center for public engagement. It strengthens the bonds between the College of Liberal Arts and the public by creating and implementing arts and humanities programs that explore our individual and collective experiences, values, and identities through the past, in the present, and for the future. Lamar is co-editor (with Jeanie Thompson) of The Remembered Gate: Memoirs by Alabama Writers.
Dr. Lisa Graves Minor received the bachelor of science degree, and she furthered her education at Vanderbilt University, where she earned the Master of Arts and Ph.D. degrees in English literature. Presently, she is Professor of English at the University of North Alabama where she teaches a variety of courses. 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.
Don Noble is Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Alabama, host of Alabama Public Television's author interview program Bookmark and book reviewer for Alabama Public Radio's Alabama Bound. He won an Emmy for Outstanding Collaboration Achievement in Writing from the Atlanta Chapter of the National Association of Television Arts and Sciences with Brent Davis for a document film on Alabama writer William Bradford Huie. He is the recipient of the 2000 Eugene Current-Garcia Award.
An Accidental Memoir: How I Killed Someone and Other Essays and Stories is Wendy Reed's latest work. She has received fellowships from the Alabama State Council on the Arts and Seaside Institute and two Emmys from the National Academy of the Television Arts and Sciences (Southeast Chapter). She co-edited All Out of Faith: Southern Women on Spirituality and Circling Faith: Southern Women on Spirituality with Jennifer Horne. As a producer/director with the University of Alabama’s Center for Public Television and Radio, Reed wrote, produced, and directed numerous documentaries and videos. The series Bookmark received three nominations under her direction, and the natural history show, Discovering Alabama, won three Emmys during her time there. For A Closer Look: The Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind she received the National Unity Award in Media from Lincoln University in the category social affairs journalism. Mother’s Day screened internationally and received various awards including the Audience Choice Award and the Feature Film Judges’ Award at the San Diego Girl Film Festival in 2005. She was an editor for the Birmingham Poetry Review and briefly wrote speeches for UAB’s president, Dr. Ann Reynolds. She is the mother of three and lives in Waverly, Alabama.
Jeanie Thompson’s poetry collections include The Seasons Bear Us, White for Harvest: New and Selected Poems, Witness, and How to Enter the River. She co-edited The Remembered Gate: Memoirs by Alabama Writers. Thompson’s poems, interviews with writers, and critical articles have appeared in Antaeus, Copper Nickel, Crazyhorse, North American Review, New England Review,Southern Review and others. Thompson holds the MFA from the University of Alabama, where she was founding editor of Black Warrior Review literary journal. This year, she was awarded an Individual Artist Literature Fellowship from the Alabama State Council on the Arts. Thompson is founding director of the Alabama Writers' Forum, a statewide literary arts organization in Montgomery, Alabama, and a faculty member of the Spalding University Brief Residency MFA Writing Program.
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, Post Road, Redivider, The Literary Review, and Hunger Mountain. His collection, The Coal Life (U of Arkansas P, 2012), was a finalist for the Miller Williams Prize. He has won awards for his teaching from UAB and the University of Florida, and the Alabama State Council on the Arts awarded him an Individual Artist Fellowship for 2013.
Sue Walker is the Poet Laureate of Alabama, Director of Creative Writing, and Stokes Distinguished Professor at the University of South Alabama. She has published seven books of poetry, a mixed genre book on the Mobile-Tensaw Delta, drama, creative non-fiction, and literary criticism. She Said is forthcoming from River’s Edge Press, and a critical work on James Dickey is forthcoming from Mellen Press. She is the publisher of Negative Capability Press.
Lila Quintero Weaver is the author-illustrator of Darkroom: A Memoir in Black & White. She was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Darkroom recounts her family’s immigrant experience in small-town Alabama during the tumultuous 1960s. It is her first major publication. Lila is a graduate of the University of Alabama. She and her husband, Paul, are the parents of three grown children.
Born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, Margaret Wrinkle is a writer, filmmaker, educator, and visual artist. Her debut novel, Wash, will be published by Grove/Atlantic in February of 2013. It will be accompanied by a touring exhibition of her photographs of slavery-related sites throughout the South. Wrinkle holds a B.A. and an M.A. in English from Yale University and a Masters in Elementary Education from University of Alabama at Birmingham. She has studied fiction with Pinckney Benedict, Dennis Covington and AJ Verdelle. Her award-winning documentary feature, broken\ground, explores contemporary race relations in her historically conflicted hometown. She served as an Academic Specialist for the US Information Agency by teaching art therapy to Palestinian teachers throughout the West Bank. She also attended several venues of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s amnesty hearings in South Africa.