University of Mississippi

Douglas Ray

Congratulations to recent graduate, Douglas Ray, on his beautiful new book!
In a sequence of poems, He Will Laugh traces the intense love between two young men. From the excitement of their first meeting to the aftermath of a tragic suicide, the speaker searches for grace and understanding amid his grief and the wealth of memory that remains.
About the author: Douglas Ray is an English Teacher and Director of Summer Programs at Indian Springs School, an independent boarding and day school in Birmingham, Alabama.

Derrick A. Harriell

Derrick Harriell was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He’s worked as assistant poetry editor for Third World Press and The Cream City Review and has taught community writing workshops for individuals of all ages, including senior citizens. A two-time Pushcart Nominee, Harriell’s poems have appeared in various literary journals and anthologies. Cotton (Aquarius Press-Willow Books 2010) is his first collection of poems.
Ph.D. in English, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee (2012)
M.F.A. in Creative Writing, Chicago State University
Cotton, (2010)
Ropes, (2013) Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters 2014 Poetry Award Winner
Click here to read Derrick’s recent interview in Prairie Schooner:
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harriell at 

Josh Weil


Josh Weil was born in the Appalachian Mountains of rural Virginia to which he returned to write the novellas in his first book, The New Valley.

A New York Times Editors Choice, The New Valley won the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction from The American Academy of Arts and Letters; the New Writers Award from the GLCA; a “5 Under 35” Award from the National Book Foundation; and was shortlisted for the Library of Virginia’s literary award in fiction. Weil’s other fiction has appeared in such publications as Granta, One Story and Agni, and he has written non-fiction for The New York Times, The Oxford American, and Poets & Writers. The recipient of fellowships and awards from the Fulbright Foundation, the Dana Foundation, the Bread Loaf and Sewanee Writers’ Conferences, the James Merrill House, and the MacDowell Colony, he has taught at Bowling Green State University as the Distinguished Visiting Writer and been the Tickner Writer-in-Residence at Gilman School.

Currently living and teaching in Oxford, Mississippi, as the University of Mississippi’s John & Rene Grisham Emerging Southern Writer, he is at work on a novel.

Selected Publications

  • The New Valley (2009)

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jweil at

Jack Pendarvis

Jack Pendarvis is the author of one novel and two collections of short stories. He is a columnist for The Oxford American, and The Believer. His work has appeared in many other publications, including McSweeney’s, The New York Times, and the 2006 Pushcart Prize anthology.

Selected Publications

  • Awesome, 2008
  • Your Body is Changing, 2007
  • The Mysterious Secret of the Valuable Treasure, 2005

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pendarvi at

Tom Franklin


  • M.F.A. in fiction, University of Arkansas (1998)
  • B.A. in English, University of South Alabama

Selected Publications

  • Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter (2010)
  • Smonk (2006)
  • Hell at the Breech (2003)
  • Poachers: Stories (1999)
Selected Honors and Awards
  • Guggenheim Fellowship
  • Grants from the State of Arkansas and Mississippi
  • Edgar Award
  • Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter won LA Times Book Prize for Best Mystery/Thriller
  • Golden Dagger Award for Best Novel (UK)
  • Willie Morris Prize for Southern Fiction
  • Alabama Library Award for Fiction

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tfrankli at

Chris Offutt

Assistant Professor of English & Screenwriting


  • M.F.A., Fiction. The University of Iowa (1990)
  • B.A., Theatre, Morehead State University (1981)

Selected Honors

  • Writers Guild of America Nominee for best writing, “True Blood” (2008)
  • Lennan fellowship for Fiction (2003)
  • Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship for Fiction (1996)

Selected publications


  • Luck (stories) (2011)
  • No Heroes (memoir) (2002)
  • Out of the Woods (stories) (1999)
  • The Good Brother (novel) (1997)
  • The Same River Twice (memoir) (1993)
  • Kentucky Straight (stories) (1992)


  • “Tough Trade” (various episodes) Lions Gate (2010)
  • “Weeds” Showtime (2009)
  • “True Blood” ( episodes 107, 110) (2007, 2008)
  • “Out of the Woods” (2004)


  • The Trapper (2011)
  • Out of the Woods

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offutt at

Richard Ford

Professor of English & Creative Writing


  • M.F.A. University of California, Irvine (1970)
  • B.A. Michigan State University (1966)

Selected Honors

  • Kenyon Prize (2008)
  • Cavour Prize, Italy (2007)
  • Commandeur, L’Ordre Des Arts et Des Lettres, Republic of France (2004)
  • Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2003)
  • Berlin Prize, American Academy in Berlin (2003)
  • PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in the Short Story (2003)
  • Doctor of Humane Letters (Hon.), The University of Michigan (1998)
  • Pulitzer Prize for Fiction (1996)
  • PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction (1996)

Selected publications


  • The Lay of the Land (2006)
  • Vintage Ford (2004)
  • A Multitude of Sins (2002)
  • Women with Men (1997)
  • Independence Day (1995)
  • Wildlife (1990)
  • Rock Springs: Stories (1987)
  • The Sportswriter (1986)
  • The Ultimate Good Luck (1981)
  • A Piece of My Heart (1976)


Ann Fisher-Wirth

Ann Fisher-Wirth teaches poetry workshops and seminars, 20th-century American literature, and a wide range of courses in environmental literature. She also teaches yoga, and directs the Environmental Studies minor at the University of Mississippi. She has held a senior Fulbright at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland, and the Fulbright Distinguished Chair of American Studies at Uppsala University, Sweden. In 2006 she was President of the 1000-member Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (ASLE); also in 2006 she was Mississippi Humanities Teacher of the Year and College of Liberal Arts Teacher of the Year. She has received numerous awards for her work, which appears widely in journals, online, and in anthologies. She and her husband, Peter Wirth, have taught at the University of Mississippi for 25 years.Education

  • Ph.D., English and American literature, Claremont Graduate School (1981)
  • M.A., English and American literature, Claremont Graduate School (1972)
  • B.A., magna cum laude, English, Pomona College (1968)

Teaching and Research Interests

  • 20th-Century American literature
  • 20th-Century poetry
  • Creative Writing (poetry, also creative nonfiction)
  • Ecocriticism
  • Literature and Environment

Selected Publications

  • The Ecopoetry Anthology, coedited with Laura-Gray Street, Trinity University Press, 2013.
    Dream Cabinet  (poems), Wings Press, 2012.

    Carta Marina (Wings Press, 2009).

  • Slide Shows (Finishing Line Press, 2009).
  • Five Terraces (Wind Publications, 2005).
  • Walking Wu Wei’s Scroll (The Drunken Boat, online, 2005).
  • The Trinket Poems (Wind, 2003).
  • Blue Window(poems). Archer Books, 2003.
  • “The Authority of Poetry,” Authority Matters: Rethinking the Theory and Practice of Authorship, ed. Stephen Donovan, Danuta Fjellestad, and Rolf Lunden, Rodopi, 2008.
  • “William Faulkner, Peter Matthiessen, and the Environmental Imagination.” In Faulkner and Ecology, Ed. Joe Urgo, U MS Press, 2005.
  • “El Otro Sud: Willa Cather and Cormac McCarthy.” In Value and Vision in American Literature: Literary Essays in Honor of Ray Lewis White, ed. Joseph Candido, Ohio UP, 2000, pp. 115-132.

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Curriculum Vitae
afwirth at

Beth Ann Fennelly

Beth Ann Fennelly was named Outstanding Teacher of the Year at the University of Mississippi in 2011.  Fennelly has published three full-length poetry books (Open House, Tender Hooks, and Unmentionables) and a book of nonfiction (Great with Child) all with W. W.  Norton.  She also writes essays on travel, culture, and design for Country Living, Southern Living, AFAR, Garden and Gun, The Oxford American, and others.  The Tilted World, the novel she co-authored with her husband, Tom Franklin, published in 2013 (HarperCollins), is an Indie Next pick and has been translated into five languages. They live in Oxford with their three children.


  • University of Notre Dame, B.A. magna cum laude
  • University of Arkansas, M.F.A.
  • University of Wisconsin, Diane Middlebrook Fellowship

Honors and Awards

• Top 20 Arts and Humanities Professor in Mississippi, 2013, and UM Humanities Teacher of the Year, Mississippi Humanities Council, 2011.

• The Subiaco Award for Literary Merit, 2012

• Fulbright to Brazil, 2009

• United States Artist Grant, 2006

The Black Warrior Review Poetry Contest, 2006

• Grants from the Mississippi Arts Commission in Poetry (2010) and Nonfiction (2006) and the State of Illinois Arts Council in poetry (2001)

• Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts in poetry (2002).

•Fellowships from Bread Loaf and Sewanee

• Residencies from MacDowell and the University of Arizona

• Diane Middlebrook Fellow at the University of Wisconsin (1998-1999).

•Winner of a Pushcart Prize and three times included in The Best American Poetry series.

Winner of The Kenyon Review Prize for a First Book, the Great Lakes Colleges Association New Writers Award, and a Booksense Top Ten Poetry Pick

• Read Poetry at the Library of Congress at the invitation of the U.S. Poet Laureate.



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Curriculum Vitae
bafennel at

Jack Pendarvis