University of Mississippi

M.F.A. Program Raises Funds with Unconventional Reading

winter2016_readingeventClick HERE for the full story.

Aimee Nezhukumatathil

nezhukumatathil.purpleAimee Nezhukumatathil, 2016-2017 John and Renee Grisham Visiting Writer in Residence and author of *Lucky Fish.* 

Check out current MFA Jason Harrington in the New York Times Magazine

MFA alum Anya Groner’s essay for the “Modern Love” section of the New York Times

Click HERE for Anya’s essay.

Alum Rachel Smith’s “object lesson” essay for The Atlantic

It is with great joy that we announce the 2016-2017 Grisham Writer-in-Residence: Aimee Nezhukumatathil!

Aimee Nezhukumatathil, 2016-2017 Grisham Writer in Residence.

Aimee Nezhukumatathil, 2016-2017 Grisham Writer in Residence.

Aimee Nezhukumatathil is the author of Miracle Fruit (2003), winner of the ForeWord Poetry Book of the Year Award; At the Drive-In Volcano (2007), winner of the Balcones Prize; and Lucky Fish (2011), winner of the gold medal in poetry from the Independent Publishers Book Awards, all from Tupelo Press. With Ross Gay, she co-authored the epistolary chapbook, Lace & Pyrite: Letters from Two Gardens (Organic Weapon Arts, 2014). Poems and essays have appeared in Ploughshares, Poetry, Tin House, American Poetry Review, New England Review, and the Best American Poetry anthology.

Her honors include the Pushcart Prize and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. She has taught as the Distinguished Visiting Writer-in-Residence at UNC-Wilmington’s MFA program and has twice served as a faculty member for Kundiman, the Asian American writers’ retreat. She is professor of English and a recipient of a Chancellor’s Medal at The State University of New York at Fredonia where she teaches creative writing and environmental literature.

Literary Death Match Tuesday, Oct. 13th at 7p.m. at The Powerhouse.

Death Match

Sarafest, Saturday, September 19th, 12p.m. at The Powerhouse

Sat. Sept. 19: noon, The Powerhouse.  The MFA Program partners with Sarah Isom Center for Gender Studies to present one of the events of Sarahfest, a music and culture festival.  Former Grisham Writer-in-Residence Megan Abbott joins former Mekon guitarist Jon Langford for a panel.


Matt Bondurant

IMG_0216-2Matt Bondurant received his B.A. and M.A. in English from James Madison University, then went on to earn a Ph.D. in English – Creative Writing from Florida State University.

Matt’s latest novel The Night Swimmer (Scribner) was published in January, 2012, and was featured in the New York Times Book ReviewOutside Magazine, and The Daily Beast, among others.  His second novel The Wettest County in the World (Scribner 2008) is an international bestseller, a New York Times Editor’s Pick, a San Francisco Chronicle Best 50 Books of the Year, and was made into a feature film (Lawless) by Director John Hillcoat, starring Shia Labeouf, Tom Hardy, Jessica Chastain, Mia Wasikowska, Gary Oldman, and Guy Pearce.  His first novel The Third Translation (Hyperion 2005) is an international bestseller, translated into 14 languages worldwide.  He has published short stories in such journals as Glimmer TrainThe New England Review, and Prairie Schooner, and his latest short story appears in the Dallas Noir anthology published last year.

Matt has written feature articles, essays, and reviews for Outside MagazineNewsweek, and the Huffington Post, among other magazines and newspapers.  His most recent non-fiction feature articles appeared in Texas Monthly magazine, including a piece about competing in the Texas Water Safari – “The World’s Toughest Canoe Race.”  He has sold two original screenplays and in 2013 he secured a development deal with HBO/Cinemax to write and executive produce an original one-hour dramatic series.  He has published poems in The Notre Dame Review and Ninth Letter, among others, and his poetry is featured inImaginative Writing, the most widely adopted creative writing text in the world.

A former John Gardner Fellow in Fiction at Bread Loaf, Kingsbury Fellow at Florida State, and Walter E. Dakin Fellow at Sewanee, Matt has recently held residencies at Yaddo and the MacDowell Colony.  He has appeared on various media outlets including NPR, Radio France, The Discovery Channel, and MSNBC.  In the past Matt worked for the Associated Press National Broadcast Office in Washington DC, as an on-air announcer and producer at a local NPR station in Virginia, and as a Steward at the British Museum in London, England.  (


  • Ph.D., Creative Writing, Florida State University
  • M.A., English, James Madison University
  • B.A., English, James Madison University


W208 Bondurant Hall
mrbondur at

Kiese Laymon

Kiese Laymon, 2015-2016 Grisham Writer in Residence

Kiese Laymon, 2015-2016 Grisham Writer in Residence

Kiese Laymon is a black southern writer, born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. Laymon attended Millsaps College and Jackson State University before graduating from Oberlin College. He earned an MFA from Indiana University and is currently an Associate Professor of English at Vassar College. Laymon is the author of the novel, Long Division  and a collection of essays,  How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America. Laymon has written essays and stories for numerous publications including Esquire, ESPN, Colorlines, NPR, Gawker, The Los Angeles Times, PEN Journal, Truthout, Longman’s Hip Hop Reader, The Best American Series, Guernica, Mythium and Politics and Culture. He was selected a member of the Root 100 in 2013 and 2014.

W205A Bondurant Hall
kmlaymon at