Originally from Nashville, Lisa Williams teaches at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky. She is the author of Woman Reading to the Sea (W.W. Norton 2008), which won the Barnard Women Poets Prize, and The Hammered Dulcimer (Utah State University Press, 1998), which won the May Swenson Poetry Award. Her poems have been published or are forthcoming in Blackbird,Poetry, The Oxford American, and other magazines, and have been featured on Poetry Daily and Verse Daily, as well as in anthologies including Best American Poetry 2009, Bright Wings: An Illustrated Anthology of Poems About Birds, and American Poetry: Next Generation. Her essays on contemporary women poets have appeared in The Hollins Critic, The Cincinnati Review, and on Poetry Daily. Williams is the recipient of a 2011 Brown Foundation Fellowship awarded by the Brown Foundation and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; a 2010 Al Smith Individual Artist Fellowship awarded by the Kentucky Arts Council; and a 2004 Rome Prize in Literature, awarded by the American Academy of Arts and Letters
Courtney C. Stevens grew up in Kentucky and lives in Nashville, Tennessee. She is an adjunct professor and a former youth minister. Her other skills include playing hide-and-seek, climbing trees, and being an Olympic torch bearer. Faking Normal is her first novel.
Don Lichtenfelt was born in the small rural town of Marlette in the thumb of Michigan during the heart of the Great Depression. He is the grandson of a German immigrant. His father was born in a log cabin and had no formal education beyond the eighth grade though he read on a daily basis. Don is the eighth child of his father and the first of his mother’s three children. According to The Birth Order Book, the spacing of his family makes him an only child in a family of ten children.
As a youth Don would rather box than eat, and fantasized about becoming the middleweight boxing champion of the world. Instead, he entered the Christian ministry. (Early on his wife observed that his two interests “seemed a bit incongruous?”) In the ministry he learned about new kinds of pain—the kinds that follow suicides and murders (three of which occurred in his own family) as well as the other kinds of deaths which clergy deal with on a regular basis—and as the cumulative result of which Don left the ministry.
In his book, Goodbye Lake Huron, Don gives us a glimpse into the private life of a clergyman. And how, after working as an insurance agent and in industry, he was enabled to re-enter the ministry and complete 40 years of service where “holding hands with death” and working through grief became high priorities.
Sarah Combs was born and raised in Louisville but has now spent more than half her life in Lexington. She graduated with degrees in English and Classics from the University of Kentucky, where her fiction and poetry earned Dantzler, Farquar, and Oswald Awards for excellence in creative writing. She has worked as a hi gh school Latin teacher, a university English instructor, a youth and teen librarian, and Jane-of-All-Trades at the Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning, where she currently leads fiction workshops for writers of all ages. While still in manuscript form, her debut novel Breakfast Served Anytime (Candlewick Press, 2014) won the 2010 YA Novel Discovery Contest, as well as the Young Adult Novel Contest sponsored by She Writes. Her second YA novel is coming from Candlewick in spring 2016, and she is hard at work on a third.
Holly Goddard Jones was born and raised in Russellville, Kentucky. She received a BA in English from the University of Kentucky while working part-time as a marketing assistant at University Press of Kentucky. She received an MFA in creative writing at Ohio State University, and has taught writing at Denison University, Murray State University, and most recently the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where she is Assistant Professor of English. Over the years, she has also taught workshops for the Reynolds Young Writers’ Workshop, the Sewanee Young Writers’ Conference, the Sewanee School of Letters, and Centre College. She was a 2007 recipient of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award. Holly’s first book, GIRL TROUBLE, was published in 2009 by Harper Perennial. Stories from the collection were published in various journals and anthologies, including BEST AMERICAN MYSTERY STORIES 2008, NEW STORIES FROM THE SOUTH 2007 and 2008, THE SOUTHERN REVIEW, EPOCH, THE GETTYSBURG REVIEW, THE KENYON REVIEW, SHENANDOAH, and THE HUDSON REVIEW. The book was featured in O: THE OPRAH MAGAZINE, PEOPLE, NEW YORK MAGAZINE, THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE, and elsewhere. It has been translated into Italian (Fazi Editore, 2010) and French (Albin Michele, 2013). THE NEXT TIME YOU SEE ME, Holly’s debut novel, was published in February 2013 by Touchstone, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. This novel, which has received much critical praise, earned her the 2014 Kentucky Literary Award. For her fiction as a whole, she received the 2013 Hillsdale Award for Fiction from the Fellowship of Southern Writers. Her newest short fiction has appeared, or is forthcoming, in TIN HOUSE, EPOCH, and THE SOUTHERN REVIEW.
Angela Correll is a seventh generation Kentuckian who lives on a farm with her husband Jess and an assortment of cattle, horses, sheep, goats and chickens. She enjoys small town life in Stanford, Kentucky and owns Kentucky Soaps & Such, a shop that sells handcrafted goat milk soap and other local products. Angela and her husband are partners in the Bluebird, a farm-to-table restaurant, promoting local food produced in a humane and sustainable way. She combines her passion for hospitality and historic preservation by renovating historic homes into guesthouses. In 2013, Angela and her husband Jess were awarded the Linda Bruckheimer Award for Historic Preservation in a Rural Area. Angela has written over fifty columns for local newspapers about life, family, and farming and is a monthly contributor to the website: Not Quite Amish Living. She holds a Master’s Degree from the University of Kentucky in Library Science. Grounded is her first novel.
Leatha Kendrick leads workshops in poetry and life writing at the Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning in Lexington, KY. She’s presented at conferences in Kentucky, Indiana, Tennessee, and elsewhere. A writing mentor, teacher, and writer, she holds an MFA from Vermont College and is the recipient of grants in poetry and fiction from the Kentucky Arts Council and the Kentucky Foundation of Women. The author of three volumes of poetry, she has also published essays, poems and fiction in many journals and anthologies, including The Southern Poetry Anthology, Volume III: Contemporary Appalachia; What Comes Down to Us – Twenty-Five Contemporary Kentucky Poets; The Kentucky Anthology—Two Hundred Years of Writing in the Bluegrass State; Listen Here: Women Writing in Appalachia, and I to I: Life Writing by Kentucky Feminists.
Born in Vienna Austria in 1958, David Cazden received an Al Smith Individual Artist’s Fellowship for poetry from the Kentucky Arts Council in 2008, his home state for over 40 years. David began writing poetry as an engineering undergraduate at the University of Kentucky in the 1970s. Although he stopped writing for over twenty years, he began again in 1999. David worked as poetry editor for Miller’s Pond for six years. He has one book, Moving Picture (Word Press, 2005). His work has been published in various places, including Passages North, The Connecticut Review, Rattle, Verse Daily, and elsewhere. David’s poetry has been nominated for the Best of the Net Anthology, and his recent work has received various honors (2nd place, Fugue’s Ron McFarland Poetry Award, finalist for Nimrod’s Pablo Neruda Poetry Award).
Jeremy Dae Paden was born in Milan, Italy and raised in Central America and the Caribbean. He received his Ph.D. In Latin American literature from Emory University. His poems have appeared in such places as the Atlanta Review, Beloit Poetry Review, Cortland Review, Louisville Review, Naugatuck Review, pluck!, and Rattle, among other journals and anthologies. His chapbook Broken Tulips was published by Accents Publishing in 2013. He is an Associate Professor of Spanish and Latin American literature at Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky, and a member of Affrilachian Poets.
Alison Atlee Alison Atlee spent her childhood re-enacting Little Women and trying to fashion 19th century wardrobes for her Barbie dolls. Happily, these activities turned out to be good preparation for writing historical novels. She now lives in Kentucky.
Mary Hamilton grew up on a Kentucky farm where telling stories was considered more of a moral failing than a potential career. An avid reader, she became an English teacher, a librarian, then, in 1983, a full-time professional storyteller. In 2012 her book, Kentucky Folktales: Revealing Stories, Truths, and Outright Lies was published by University Press of Kentucky. Mary’s body of work has received a 2009 Circle of Excellence Award from the National Storytelling Network and a 1999-2000 Jesse Stuart Media Award from the Kentucky School Media Association. Kentucky Folktales earned a 2013 Anne Izard Storytellers’ Choice Award and a 2013 Storytelling World Winner Award in the Storytelling Collections category. Her CD Sisters All. . . and One Troll received a 2006 Parent’s Choice Gold Award and a 2007 Storytelling World Winner Award in the Storytelling Recordings category. In the same category, her CD Alligators, Bees, and Surprise, Oh My! won a 2010 Storytelling World Honor designation. Award in the Storytelling Recordings category. In the same category, her CD Alligators, Bees, and Surprise, Oh My! won a 2010 Storytelling World Honor designation. BRIAN LEUNG is the author of the short story collection, World Famous Love Acts (Sarabande, 2004), winner of both the Mary McCarthy Award for short fiction and The Asian American Literary Award for Fiction. His novels are Lost Men (Random House, 2008) and Take Me Home (Harper/Collins, 2010) winner of the 2011 Willa Award for Historical Fiction. In 2012 he was the recipient of the Lambda Literary Award for a Mid-career Novelist. His poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction appear in numerous nationally distributed publications. Leung currently serves on the LGBT Advisory Board at the University of Louisville where he is the Director of Creative Writing.
SARAH GORHAM is a poet, essayist, and publisher who resides in Prospect KY. She was born in Santa Monica, California in 1954. She received her MFA from the University of Iowa in 1978 and her BA in 1976 from Antioch College. Gorham is the author of four collections of poetry: Bad Daughter (Four Way Books, 2011), The Cure (Four Way Books, 2003), The Tension Zone (Four Way Books, 1996, second edition 1998), and Don’t Go Back to Sleep (Galileo Press, 1989). She co-edited the anthology Last Call: Poems on Alcoholism, Addiction, and Deliverance, with Jeffrey Skinner, published in 1997 by Sarabande Books. Individual poems have been published in Best American Poetry, American Poetry Review, Pool, Gettysburg Review, Antaeus, The Nation, Kenyon Review, Paris Review, Open City, Georgia Review, Southern Review, among other places. She also writes essays, which are appearing in Iowa Review, AGNI, AGNI Online, Creative Nonfiction, Gulf Coast, Pleiades, Quarterly West, Prairie Schooner, Arts & Letters, Real Simple, and Poets and Writers. In 2012, she was the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry. She received other grants and fellowships from the Kentucky, Connecticut, and Delaware State Arts Councils, the Kentucky Foundation for Women, Yaddo, MacDowell, the Vermont Studio Center, and the James Merrill House. In March 1994, Gorham founded Sarabande Books, and serves as its President and Editor-in-Chief. She is the wife of poet Jeffrey Skinner, mother of Laura and Bonnie, and grandmother of Lucille, Josephine , and Anabel. Are Small Towns Sexy? Absolutely! Just ask
Kim Huston, author of SMALL TOWN SEXY, the allure of living in small town America and she will enjoy telling you about her love affair with her not-so-big city lifestyle in her hometown of Bardstown, Kentucky, population 11,000. Kim has recently gained national recognition with SMALL TOWN SEXY, which discusses the seductive charm and appeal that so many small towns have today and enjoys convincing anyone who will listen that indeed you can do big business in a small town. Kim writes from experience as the President of the Nelson County Economic Development Agency in Bardstown, a community listed as one of the “100 Best Small Towns in America” one of the “50 Best Small Southern Towns” and was just named by rand McNally and USA Today as the “Most Beautiful Small Town in America.” As president of this agency, she oversees all the economic development activity in Nelson County including industrial development, Chamber of Commerce, Main Street and Tourism. Kim is passionate about small towns and hopes the book will change some perceptions that people have about life in small town America and make people realize that “you can live large in a small town.”
Georgia Green Stamper’s, essays appear regularly on the back page of Kentucky Humanities Magazine, and have been published in a number of journals, newspapers, and literary anthologies. A local NPR commentator, she also has broadcast nearly one hundred of her essays on NPR member station WUKY at the University of Kentucky. Butter in the Morning is her second book length collection. Sponsored by the Kentucky Humanities Council, she speaks throughout the state about the importance of preserving local and personal stories. Her work has won the Emma Belle Miles Award for Essay at the LMU Mountain Heritage Literary Festival (judged by Silas House); the Leadingham Prose Award from the Frankfort Arts Foundation; the Legacies Award from The Carnegie Center of Literacy and Learning; and the Wilma Dykeman Award for Essay, honorable mention, (judged by Hal Crowther.) Her first book of essays, You Can Go Anywhere, was the September selection in the Carnegie Center’s “New Books by Great Kentucky Writers” 2008-2009 series. A seventh generation Kentuckian, Stamper grew up on a tobacco farm in North-Central Kentucky that has been connected to her family since the early 19th Century. A graduate of Transylvania University, she is a former high school English, speech, and theater teacher. She lives in Lexington, Kentucky, with her husband Ernie, a retired business executive. They are the parents of three adult daughters and have six grandchildren.
Kathleen Driskell,award-winning poet and teacher, is Professor of Creative Writing and serves as the Associate Program Director of Spalding University’s brief-residency Master of Fine Arts in Writing Program in Louisville, Kentucky. In addition to the nationally best-selling Seed Across Snow, she is the author of one previous book of poetry, Laughing Sickness (in its second printing), and Peck and Pock: A Graphic Poem, as well as the editor of two anthologies of creative writing. Her poems have appeared in many nationally known literary magazines including North American Review, The Southern Review, Cortland Review, and Rattle. Kathleen lives outside Louisville with her husband and two children in an old country church built before The American Civil War.
Lynnell Major Edwards is the author of three collections of poetry, most recently Covet (October, 2011), and also The Farmer’s Daughter (2003) and The Highwayman’s Wife (2007), all from Red Hen Press. Her short fiction and book reviews have appeared most recently in Connecticut Review, American Book Review, Pleiades, New Madrid, and others. She lives in Louisville, Ky. where she is on the board of directors for Louisville Literary Arts, a non-profit literary arts organization that sponsors the monthly InKY reading series and The Writer’s Block Festival. She is also associate professor of English at Spalding Universityand teaches creative writing workshops at the Carnegie Center for Literacy. More information at recent work and reviews at: http://www.lynnelledwards.com
Frederick Smock is associate professor of English at Bellarmine University, where he received the Wyatt Faculty Award in 2005. He has published four books of poetry with Larkspur Press, and chapbooks with Accents Publishing and Finishing Line Press. ‘The Bounteous World’ is his second book with Broadstone; the first, a monograph published in 2007, is titled ‘Pax Intrantibus: A Meditation on the Poetry of Thomas Merton.’ Mr Smock was the founding editor of the international literary journal ‘The American Voice,’ which ran for 15 years. His own poems have been published in Poetry (Chicago), The Hudson Review, The Iowa Review, Ars-Interpres (Sweden), The Antioch Review, Shenandoah, The Southern Review, and many others. A Kentucky native, he has received the Al Smith Fellowship in Poetry from the Kentucky Arts Council, the Jim Wayne Miller Prize for Poetry, and the Henry Leadingham Poetry prize. He is also the author of ‘Craft-talk: On Writing Poetry’ and ‘Poetry & Compassion: Essays on Art & Craft.’ David King is the author of Finding Atlantis , Vienna 1814 , and the national bestseller Death in the City of Light . A Fulbright Scholar with a master’s degree from Cambridge University, King taught European history at the University of Kentucky before becoming a full-time writer. His books have been translated into several languages, including Chinese, Turkish, Polish, Korean, Italian, and Russian. Movie rights to his most recent book have just been sold to a major Hollywood studio. King lives in Lexington with his wife and children.
George Ella Lyon grew up in a house full of music and books. With a father who read poetry and sang and a mother who played word games, she was set early on her path. In high school, Lyon began writing songs, published a poem in a Kentucky newspaper and her first essay in the folk song magazine, Sing Out. After Centre College, Lyon attended the University of Arkansas and Indiana University, where she had the life-changing experience of studying with poet Ruth Stone. After graduate school, married and with a baby, Lyon taught part-time at the University of Kentucky and other nearby campuses. Her chapbook, Mountain, came out in 1983, and in 1984 editor Richard Jackson invited her to try writing for children. Five novels and twenty-six picture books have flowed from that invitation, including winners of ALA’s Schneider Family Book Award, the Bluegrass Award, Publishers Weekly Best Books of the Year, the New York Public Library’s Best Books for Teens, and the 2012 Aesop Prize. Lyon has also published a novel, a memoir, short stories, and three volumes of poetry for adults, including the 2012 collection, She Let Herself Go: Poems. Kirkus Reviews calls her newest novel for young adults, Holding on to Zoe, “an intriguing window into the life of a damaged teen.” She makes her living as a freelance writer and teacher.
Will Lavender is the author of the New York Times bestselling thrillers Obedience (Shaye Areheart/Crown, 2008) and Dominance (Simon & Schuster, 2010). A recipient of an MFA in creative writing from Bard College and a graduate of Centre College, Will lives with his wife and two children in Louisville, where he is at work on a third novel. That book, called The Descartes Circle, is forthcoming from Simon & Schuster.
Al Smith, covered a big-time Mafia boss, crooked cops and mad Governor Earl K.Long until booze busted him off two New Orleans dailies. Sobering up in his 30’s on a rural Kentucky weekly, he bought the paper and then others across the state and launched a broadcast career of three decades on the KET network.He worked for two presidents in Washington as head of the Appalachian Regional Commission and won acclaim as a “National Rural Hero” for his efforts in journalism. In his 80’s he has written two memoirs, “Wordsmith, My Life in Journalism,” and “Kentucky Cured, Fifty Years in Kentucky Journalism.” From his boyhood in a Sarasota mansion to living poor on a rundown farm in Tennessee and winning a national speech contest, then much, much more, his is the colorful life story of an engaged journalist, who always had a cause to champion, in and out of the newsrooms. The coveted Al Smith Fellowships for Kentucky artists honor his service to the arts. Honorary doctorates from the University of Kentucky and eight other colleges and universities celebrate his efforts in behalf of education and economic development. He is a national Fellow of the Society of Professional Journalists and a member of the UK Hall of Fame of Journalism. He and his wife Martha Helen live in Lexington. They have three adult children.
Nancy Jensen’s, novel The Sisters (St. Martin’s Press, 2011) was selected by the Independent Booksellers Association as the #1 Indie Next Pick for December 2011 and included by Kirkus Reviews on its list for Best Fiction of 2011. She has been awarded an Artist Enrichment Grant from the Kentucky Foundation for Women and an Al Smith Fellowship from the Kentucky Arts Council. Her first book, Window: Stories and Essays, was published by Fleur-de-Lis Press in 2009. Nancy shares her home with seven rescued cats and her dog Gordy, who is her partner on a pet therapy team with Pawsibilities Unleashed of Kentucky. When she isn’t writing or enjoying the company of her furred family, she teaches as a member of the core MFA faculty of the Bluegrass Writers Studio at Eastern Kentucky University.
Multidisciplinary artist and writer Frank X Walker is the author of six collections of poetry including the forthcoming “Turn Me Loose,” The Unghosting of Medgar Evers (University of Georgia Press). He is a graduate of the University of Kentucky and Spalding University’s MFA in Writing Program. He is an Associate Professor of English at UK and also serves as the Director of the African American and Africana Studies Program.
Jeff Worley, who has lived in Lexington since 1986, is the author of four books and four chapbooks of poetry as well as a recently published anthology from University Press of Kentucky titled What Comes Down to Us: 25 Contemporary Kentucky Poets. His first book, The Only Time There Is (Mid-List Press, 1995), won Mid-List’s yearly national first-book competition. His second Mid-List book, Happy Hour at the Two Keys Tavern, was named winner of the Society of Midland Authors Literary Competition, won the 2006 Kentucky Book of the Year in Poetry, and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. His two other books were published (beautifully!) by Larkspur Press. Worley has received three Al Smith Fellowships from the Kentucky Arts Council and a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship, among other awards. He has been a featured author on KET’s “Book Club” and also served as the Writer-in-Residence in the Writer’s Voice Center located in the Carnegie Center in 1996. His poems have appeared in nearly 500 literary magazines and journals, including College English, The Threepenny Review, Poetry Northwest, Black Warrior Review, Chicago Review, The Georgia Review, Harvard Review, New England Review, Shenandoah, DoubleTake, The Sewanee Review, The Southern Review, The Missouri Review, and in the anthology Writing Poems (Pearson, Longman, 6th ed.).
Cynthia Ellingsen, is a commercial fiction author and a screenwriter. Her first novel, “The Whole Package” was published by Penguin-Berkley in August, 2011. A trade-paperback, “The Whole Package” is the story of three women, friends for life, who embark on a saucy business adventure. Cynthia has also been contracted by Penguin-Berkley to write her second novel, “Marriage Matters”, which will be released in April, 2013. Cynthia began her career in the arts by studying at Interlochen Arts Academy in Northern Michigan and DePaul University in Chicago. Shortly after college, she moved out to Los Angeles to pursue a career in entertainment. While in Los Angeles, she co-wrote “Modern Love”, a script lampooning the wedding industry. The script was optioned by Identity Films, along with her second effort, “Three Card Monte”. In 2008, Cynthia made the move to Kentucky to marry a Lexington native. She wrote her first novel while living at Merrick Place. Cynthia serves on the advisory board for the Carnegie Center and the Young Professionals board for the Lexington Public Library. She has served as a member of the Friends of the UK Art Museum, as well as the head of the auction committee for the UK Art Museum’s largest fundraiser, Art in Bloom. Cynthia is represented by Writer’s House Agency in New York and Creative Artists Agency in Los Angeles.
Kirby Gann, is the author of the novels The Barbarian Parade, Our Napoleon in Rags, and most recently, Ghosting (2012)—a novel that Kirkus Reviews calls “Hillbilly noir as literary fiction of the first order.” He is also co-editor (with poet Kristin Herbert) of the anthology A Fine Excess: Contemporary Literature at Play, which was a finalist for the ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Award (Anthologies). His work has appeared most recently in The Lumberyard and The Oxford American, among other journals. He is the recipient of an Individual Artist Fellowship and two Professional Assistance Awards from the Kentucky Arts Council, and an Honorable Mention in The Pushcart Prize Anthology. Gann is Managing Editor at Sarabande Books, and teaches in the brief-residency MFA in Writing Program at Spalding University.
Sherry Chandler, is the author of Weaving a New Eden. She has had professional development support and an Al Smith Professional Assistance Award from the Kentucky Arts Council and an Artist Enrichment grant from the Kentucky Foundation for Women. Her work has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She is the recipient of the Betty Gabehart Award from the Kentucky Women Writers Conference, the Legacies Award from the Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning, the Kudzu poetry prize for 2006, and the Joy Bale Boone Prize for 2006. Her work has appeared in many magazines and anthologies. Chandler holds a BA from Georgetown College and an MA in English Literature from the University of Kentucky. She lives in rural Bourbon County between Paris and Ruddles Mill with her husband, T. R. Williams, a wood carver. She has twin sons.
Maurice Manning’s fourth book of poetry, The Common Man, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2011. His first book, Lawrence Booth’s Book of Visions (2001), was selected by W.S. Merwin for the Yale Series of Younger Poets. Manning’s other books include A Companion for Owls (2004) and Bucolics (2007). He has held fellowships at The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown and The Hawthornden International Retreat for Writers in Scotland. In 2009 Manning was awarded the Hanes Poetry Prize by The Fellowship of Southern Writers. In 2011 he received a Guggenheim Fellowship. Manning teaches in the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College and lives in Kentucky. T. Crunk’s first collection of poetry, Living in the Resurrection, was the 1994 selection in the Yale Series of Younger Poets competition. He has since published four additional collections of poetry, four books for children, and one collection of short fiction. He lives in Birmingham, AL, where he teaches in a creative writing program in the state of Alabama’s Juvenile Detention Facilities — a program co-sponsored by the Alabama Writers’ Forum and the Alabama Department of Youth Services.
Nikky Finney, was born in South Carolina, within listening distance of the sea. A child of activists, she came of age during the Civil Rights and Black Arts Movements. At Talladega College, nurtured by Hale Woodruff’s Amistad murals, Finney began to understand the powerful synergy between art and history. Finney has authored four books of poetry: Head Off & Split (2011); The World Is Round (2003); Rice (1995); and On Wings Made of Gauze (1985). Professor of English and creative writing at the University of Kentucky, Finney also authored Heartwood (1997) edited The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South (2007), and co- founded the Affrilachian Poets. Finney’s fourth book of poetry, Head Off & Split was awarded the 2011 National Book Award for poetry.
Bobbie Ann Mason was raised on her family’s dairy farm in western Kentucky. She became interested in writing as a child, when she wrote imitations of the mystery series novels she read. She was inspired by Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, but it wasn’t until college that she discovered other writers, especially the fiction of Hemingway, Salinger, and Fitzgerald. She earned her bachelor’s degree in English at the University of Kentucky in 1962, her master’s degree at the State University of New York at Binghamton in 1966, and her Ph.D. at the University of Connecticut in 1972. Her first short stories were published in The New Yorker, and these were included in her first book of fiction, Shiloh & Other Stories. The collection won the PEN/Hemingway Award and was nominated for the American Book Award, the PEN/Faulkner Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award. She received a Guggenheim Fellowship and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and she received an Award for Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Her first novel, In Country, is taught widely in classes and was made into a film starring Bruce Willis and Emily Lloyd. Both Feather Crowns and Zigzagging Down a Wild Trail won the Southern Book Critics Circle Award. Her memoir, or family history, Clear Springs, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. She belongs to the Authors Guild, PEN, and the Fellowship of Southern Writers. She is former writer-in-residence at the University of Kentucky.
Ed McClanahan is a native of Brooksville, KY, born in 1932. A graduate of Miami (Ohio) University (AB, 1955) and the University of Kentucky (MA, 1958), he has taught English and creative writing at Oregon State College (now OSU), Stanford University, the University of Montana, the University of Kentucky, and Northern Kentucky University. His books include THE NATURAL MAN (a novel), FAMOUS PEOPLE I HAVE KNOWN (a serio-comic autobiography), A CONGRESS OF WONDERS (three novellas), and MY VITA, IF YOU WILL (a miscellany of previously uncollected fiction, non-fiction, reviews, and commentary). The first two books were published by Farrar Straus & Giroux (1983 and 1985, respectively), the latter two by Counterpoint Press (1996 and 1998). NATURAL MAN has been reprinted by Gnomon Press (Frankfort, KY), and FAMOUS PEOPLE has been reprinted by the University Press of Kentucky; both are still in print, and both are also available from Books on Tape. In 2002, Larkspur Press (Monterey, KY) published McClanahan’s memoir, FONDELLE: or THE WHORE WITH A HEART OF GOLD, in a limited letterpress edition, and in 2008, Counterpoint published his “implied autobiography” O THE CLEAR MOMENT. Forthcoming is I JUST HITCHED IN FROM THE COAST: THE ED McCLANAHAN READER (Counterpoint, Fall 2011). McClanahan is the editor of SPIT IN THE OCEAN #7: ALL ABOUT KESEY (Viking-Penguin, 2003), a tribute issue of the late Ken Kesey’s self-published magazine, and he contributed an introduction to KESEY’S JAIL JOURNAL (Viking-Penguin, 2003), a volume featuring Kesey’s art work. The title story of A CONGRESS OF WONDERS was made into a prize-winning short film in 1993, and in 1994 McClanahan was the subject of an hour-long documentary on Kentucky Educational Television. His work has appeared in many magazines, including ESQUIRE, ROLLING STONE, and PLAYBOY, and twice won PLAYBOY’s Best Non-Fiction awards. He has also been awarded a Wallace Stegner Fellowship, two Yaddo Fellowships, and an Al Smith Fellowship. He annually teaches a three-week seminar in creative writing in the University of Kentucky’s Gaines Center for the Humanities. McClanahan’s website is www.edmcclanahan.com. He lives with his wife Hilda in Lexington, KY.
Sallie Bingham, published her first novel with Houghton Mifflin in 1961. Since then she has published four collections of short stories, four novels, and a memoir. She was Book Editor for The Courier-Journal in Louisville and has been a director of the National Book Critics Circle. She is the founder of The Kentucky Foundation for Women.
Maureen Morehead has published four books of poetry: In a Yellow Room (Sulgrave Press, 1990), Our Brothers’ War (Sulgrave Press, 1993), A Sense of Time Left (Larkspur Press, 2003), and The Melancholy Teacher (Larkspur Press, 2010). Her poems have appeared in The American Poetry Review, The Black Warrior Review, The California Quarterly, The Greensboro Review, The Iowa Review, The Louisville Review, Poet and Critic, Poetry, and other literary journals. She is featured in Conversations with Kentucky Writers II (University of Kentucky Press, 1999) and Kentucky Voices: A Bicentennial Celebration of Kentucky Writing (Kentucky Arts Council, 1992). She won fellowships for her poetry from the Kentucky Arts Council and the Kentucky Foundation for Women. She serves as the 2011/2012 Kentucky Poet Laureate.
Kim Edwards was born in Killeen, Texas. She grew up in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York and attended Colgate University and The University of Iowa, where she earned an MFA in fiction and an MA in linguistics. She is the author of The Secrets of a Fire King, which was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award, and her stories have been published in The Paris Review, Story, Ploughshares, Zoetrope, and many other periodicals. She has received many awards for the short story, including a Pushcart Prize, the National Magazine Award, the Nelson Algren Award, and inclusion in The Best American Short Stories of 1993. Two of her stories were performed at Symphony Space and broadcast on ‘Selected Shorts.’ Kim Edwards received a Whiting Writers’ Award, as well as grants from the Pennsylvania and Kentucky Arts Councils, the Kentucky Foundation for Women, and the National Endowment for the Arts. The Memory Keeper’s Daughter, her first novel, was a Barnes and Noble Discover Award pick and became a word-of-mouth best-seller, spending 122 weeks on the New York Times Best Seller list, 20 of those weeks at #1. Published in more than 38 countries, it was also a best seller in Italy, France, Germany, England, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Holland, and Taiwan. The Memory Keeper’s Daughter won the Kentucky Literary Award and the British Book Award, and was chosen as Book of the Year for 2006 by USA Today. Her new novel, The Lake of Dreams, will be published by Viking in January 2011.
Chris Holbrook, a native of Knott County, Kentucky, received the Thomas and Lillie D. Chaffin Award for Appalachian Writing for Hell and Ohio: Stories of Southern Appalachia. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Holbrook is associate professor of English at Morehead State University. He has published short stories in a variety of literary journals including The American Voice, Appalachian Heritage, Wind, Night Train, Appalachian Journal and The Frost-Proof Review. Author Photo Credit to Rebecca Gayle Howell.
A native of Louisville, Squire Babcock worked as a ballroom dance instructor, farm hand, weigh- man in a cotton gin, hunting guide, pool table repair mechanic, small business owner, carpenter’s apprentice and blues drummer before heeding the call to writing and teaching. He holds B.A. and M.F.A. degrees from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He is the author of a novel, The King of Gaheena, and his creative work has appeared in newsmagazines and journals including The Valley Advocate, Hampshire Life, Old Hickory Review, Colorado Review, Louisville Review, Arts & Letters, and others. He is currently Associate Professor of English at Murray State University, where he has taught literature and writing for 18 years and served as Residential College Head and Director of the Low-Residency MFA Program in Creative Writing.
Nickole Brown’s books include her debut, Sister, a novel-in-poems published by Red Hen Press, and the anthology, Air Fare, that she co-edited with Judith Taylor. She graduated from The Vermont College of Fine Arts and was the editorial assistant for the late Hunter S. Thompson. She has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Kentucky Foundation for Women, and the Kentucky Arts Council. She worked at the independent, literary press, Sarabande Books, for ten years. Currently, she is the Editor for the Marie Alexander Series in Prose Poetry at White Pine Press and works as the National Publicity Consultant for Arktoi Books. She lives in Louisville, KY, where she is Lecturer at the University of Louisville and Bellarmine University and teaches at the low-residency MFA Program in Creative Writing at Murray State.
Affrilachian Poet, Bianca Spriggs, is a freelance instructor of composition, literature, and creative writing. She holds degrees from Transylvania University and the University of Wisconsin. She is a Kentucky Humanities Council Lecturer and the creator and programmer of the Gypsy Poetry Slam featured annually at the Kentucky Women Writers Conference, and the creator and programmer of the Darkroom Showcase, an interactive interdisciplinary series of performance art featured monthly at the Lexington Art League. Pushcart Prize winner and National Book Award Finalist, Patricia Smith, calls Bianca’s work, “an aggressive signature that is deftly crafted, insightful and often achingly lyrical.” Having lived most of her life in Kentucky, Bianca’s poems reflect the trials and triumphs of growing up as a woman of color in a border state. Heralded as “the new standard bearer for the Affrilachian Poets” by founding member, Frank X Walker, Bianca Spriggs is the author of Kaffir Lily (Wind Publications) and her work may also be found in the anthologies, New Growth: Recent Kentucky Writings, America! What’s My Name? and the journals, Caduceus, Alehouse, Torch, and the Appalachian Heritage Magazine. Silas House is the author of four novels: Clay’s Quilt (2001), A Parchment of Leaves (2003), The Coal Tattoo (2004), Eli the Good (2009), two plays, The Hurting Part (2005) and Long Time Travelling (2009), and Something’s Rising (2009), a creative nonfiction book about social protest co-authored with Jason Howard. House was selected to edit the posthumous manuscript of acclaimed writer James Still, Chinaberry. House’s young adult novel, Same Sun Here, co-written with Neela Vaswani, will be published by Candlewick Books in early 2012. House serves as the NEH Chair in Appalachian Studies at Berea College and on the fiction faculty at Spalding University’s MFA in Creative Writing program. House is a former contributing editor for No Depression magazine, where he has done long features on such artists as Lucinda Williams, Nickel Creek, and many others. He is also one of Nashville’s most in-demand press kit writers, having written the press kit bios for such artists as Kris Kristofferson, Kathy Mattea, Leann Womack, and others. A former writer-in-residence at Lincoln Memorial University, he is the creator of the Mountain Heritage Literary Festival. House is a two-time finalist for the Southern Book Critics Circle Prize, a two-time winner of the Kentucky Novel of the Year, the Appalachian Writer of the Year, the Appalachian Book of the Year, the Chaffin Prize for Literature, the Award for Special Achievement from the Fellowship of Southern Writers, and many other honors. In 2009 the Silas House Literary Seminar was given at Emory and Henry College. For his environmental activism House received the Helen Lewis Community Service Award in 2008 from the Appalachian Studies Association. In 2010 he was awarded the Intellectual Freedom Award from the Kentucky Council of English Teachers. House’s work can be found in The New York Times, Newsday, Oxford American, Bayou, The Southeast Review,The Louisville Review, The Beloit Fiction Journal, Wind, Night Train, and others, as well as in the anthologies The Southern Poetry Anthology: Volume 3, New Stories From the South 2004: The Year’s Best, Christmas in the South, A Kentucky Reader, Of Woods and Water, Motif, We All Live Downstream, Missing Mountains, A Kentucky Christmas, Shouts and Whispers, High Horse, The Alumni Grill, Stories From the Blue Moon Café I and II, and many others. House is the father of two daughters. He divides his time between London and Berea, Kentucky. Lisa J. Parker is a writer, musician and photographer born and raised in Fauquier County, Virginia. She is the author of the book This Gone Place, published by MotesBooks, and has published in numerous literary magazines, journals and anthologies. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Penn State in 1998 and several writing awards including the Randall Jarrell Prize In Poetry, the National Allen Tate Memorial Prize In Poetry, and an Academy of American Poets Prize. Her photography was exhibited in New York City, where she lived for several years, as part of New York Public Library’s Storylines Project. She currently lives in Virginia where she works in the Defense and Intel sector and continues to work on writing and photography projects. Her work can be seen at www.wheatpark.com.
Tori Murden McClure is the president of Spalding University, in Louisville, Kentucky. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Smith College, a Master of Divinity from Harvard University, and her juris doctorate from the University of Louisville’s Louis D. Brandeis School of Law. In 2005, she earned her master of fine arts in writing from Spalding University. Her non-fiction book A Pearl in the Storm was published by Harper-Collins in 2009. A passionate world adventurer and humanitarian, Ms. McClure is best known as the first woman and first American to row solo across the Atlantic Ocean. She was also the first woman and first American to travel over land to the geographic South Pole, skiing 750 miles from the ice shelf to the pole. Sena Jeter Naslund is a native of Birmingham and winner of the Harper Lee Award and recipient of the Southeastern Library Association Award. She is Distinguished Teaching Professor and Writer in Residence at the University of Louisville; Program Director of the Spalding University brief-residency MFA in Writing; and 2010 Eminent Scholar at the University of Alabama-Huntsville. She makes her home in Louisville, KY. Katerina Stoykova is the author of the bilingual poetry book, The Air around the Butterfly (Fakel Express, 2009), and the English language chapbook, The Most (Finishing Line Press, 2010). Her poems have been published in the US and Europe, including The Louisville Review, Margie, Adirondack Review and others. Katerina is the founder and leader of poetry and prose groups in Lexington, Kentucky. She serves as Deputy Editor in Chief of the English language edition of the online magazine Public Republic and hosts Accents – a radio show for literature, art and culture on WRFL, 88.1 FM, Lexington. In January 2010 Katerina launched Accents Publishing – an independent press for brilliant voices. Accents has published or announced books by local, national and international authors. Katerina holds an MFA in Writing from Spalding University in Louisville, Kentucky.
Holly Goddard Jones was born and raised in western Kentucky, the setting for her fiction. Her short stories have appeared in The Kenyon Review, The Southern Review, The Gettysburg Review, The Hudson Review, Epoch, and elsewhere, and they’ve been anthologized in two volumes of New Stories from the South (2007 and 2008) and in Best American Mystery Stories 2008. She was honored with a Peter Taylor Scholarship at the Sewanee Writers’ Conference in 2006 and was the winner in 2007 of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award, a prize of $25,000 given to only six emerging women fiction writers each year. A graduate of the MFA program in creative writing at The Ohio State University, she has taught at Denison University, the Sewanee Young Writers’ Conference, Murray State University, and The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She lives there with her husband, Brandon, and two dogs, Bishop and Martha. Elizabeth Oakes’ first book, The Farmgirl Poems, won the 2004 Pearl Poetry Prize. Her second, The Luminescence of All Things Emily, is a series of poems about Dickinson and her friends and family. She holds the Ph.D fromVanderbilt University and has published scholarship on early modern drama and contemporary poetry in addition to her own poetry in such journals as The Louisville Review, Women’s Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, Room of One’s Own, Open 24 Hours, Naugatuck River Review, Emily Dickinson International Society Bulletin, and Harvard Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion. She is the co-founder and co-editor, with Jane Olmsted, of the Kentucky Feminist Writers Series, which was awarded the Kentucky Foundation for Women’s Sallie Bingham Feminist Action Award in 2004. The series includes Writing Who We Are: Poems by Kentucky Feminists (1999), Telling Stories: Fiction by Kentucky Feminists (2001), and I to I: Life Writing by Kentucky Feminists (2004). Retired in 2009 from teaching Shakespeare and American women poets at Western Kentucky University, she lives in Bowling Green, Kentucky, and Sedona, Arizona. Mercy in the New World, a series of poems in the voice of an American colonial woman, will be published by Wind in the spring of 2011. She is currently working on a series of poems about the medieval carvings in Glastonbury, England, and a volume of prose meditations on lines from Shakespeare. Alex Taylor lives in Rosine, Kentucky. He has worked as a day laborer on tobacco farms, as a car detailer at a used automotive lot, as a sorghum peddler, at various fast food chains, as a tender of suburban lawns, and at a cigarette lighter factory. He holds an MFA from The University of Mississippi and now teaches at Western Kentucky University. His work has appeared in Carolina Quarterly, American Short Fiction, The Greensboro Review, and elsewhere.