Colum McCann Irish-American fiction writer Colum McCann won the 2009 National Book Award for his novel Let the Great World Spin and is the author of four other novels and two story collections. He is the founder, with the Aspen Writers’ Foundation, of Narrative4, an innovative educational program that uses story exchanges as a tool for social change.
Luis Alberto Urrea Mexican-American author Luis Alberto Urrea, 2005 Pulitzer Prize finalist for nonfiction and member of the Latino Literature Hall of Fame, uses his dual-culture life experiences to explore greater themes of love, loss, and triumph. The critically acclaimed and best-selling author of 13 books, Urrea has won the Lannan Literary Award and the Pacific Rim Kiriyama Prize.
Ron Rash Ron Rash, a respected native son of Western North Carolina, is the author of numerous volumes of poetry and fiction. His many awards include the 2010 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, the Sherwood Anderson Prize, and the O. Henry Prize. The film based on his novel Serena will be released in the spring of 2014. He is John A. Parris Jr. and Dorothy Luxton Parris Distinguished Professor in Appalachian Cultural Studies at Western Carolina University.
George Singleton George Singleton is a Southern author who has written several collections of short stories and three novels. He graduated from Furman University in 1980 with a degree in Philosophy and holds an MFA degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He teaches fiction writing and editing at the South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts & Humanities in Greenville, SC. In 2009 Singleton was a Guggenheim Fellow, and in 2011 he was awarded the Hillsdale Award for Fiction by The Fellowship of Southern Writers.
Linda Hogan Native American writer Linda Hogan is an internationally recognized public speaker and writer of poetry, fiction, and essays. Her novel Mean Spirit was a Pulitzer Prize finalist and she has received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers Circle of the Americas. Hogan’s main interests as both writer and scholar are environmental issues and indigenous spiritual traditions and culture.
Jill McCorkle Jill McCorkle’s fiction has been described as balancing on “the fine line between the comedic and the tragic.” Five of the North Carolina native’s ten books have been named New York Times notable books and four of her stories have been included in Best American Short Stories. McCorkle teaches in the MFA programs at North Carolina State University and Bennington College.
Rebecca McClanahan Rebecca McClanahan has published a memoir, five books of poetry, and a suite of essays, including The Riddle Song and Other Rememberings, winner of the Glasgow prize in nonfiction. Her three books of writing instruction are used as texts in numerous writing programs.
Ron Houchin Appalachian poet Ron Houchin’s poetry collection The Man Who Saws Us in Half will be published by LSU Press in the fall of 2013. He is the author of five other poetry collections and his awards include an Ohio Arts Council Fellowship, Poetry Book of the Year from the Appalachian Writers' Association, and nominations for Paterson and Pushcart Prizes.
David Cecelski Independent historian and writer David Cecelski has published award-winning books and articles about history, race, and culture in the American South, including his most recent book, The Fire of Freedom: Abraham Galloway and the Slaves’ Civil War. A native of the North Carolina coast, his writing focuses on stories that illuminate American history more broadly. He is the recipient of an Outstanding Book Award from the Gustavis Myers Center for the Study of Human Rights and has held several distinguished visiting professorships.
Donna Glee Williams Donna Glee Williams’ first novel, The Braided Path, will be published in March 2014. The novel grew out of a 2007 short story that received Honorable Mention in Gardner Dozois’ anthology The Year’s Best Science Fiction. Her shorter works have appeared in a wide array of publications, including The New Orleans Review, The New Delta Review, The New Laurel Review, and The Bellingham Review.
Charles F. Price (biography not yet written)
Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished Poet Name:TBA (biography not yet written)