2017 Artists

collinsBILLY COLLINS is the author of 12 collections of poetry, most recently The Rain in Portugal published in 2016.  Others titles include Aimless Love, Horoscopes for the DeadQuestions About Angels, The Art of Drowning, Sailing Alone Around the Room, Nine Horses, Ballistics and Picnic, Lightning. He is also the editor of three anthologies: Poetry 180: A Turning Back to Poetry, 180 More: Extraordinary Poems for Everyday, and Bright Wings: An Illustrated Anthology of Bird Poems. His poems have been published in a variety of periodicals including The New Yorker, Harper's, The Atlantic, and The American Scholar, and he appears regularly in The Best American Poetry. A Guggenheim Fellow and a New York Public Library Literary Lion, he is a Distinguished Professor at Lehman College, City University of New York, and a Distinguished Fellow of the Winter Park Institute at Rollins College. He served as New York State Poet (2004-5) and United States Poet Laureate (2001-2003). He was recently inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters.


STEPHEN CLINGMAN is the author of Birthmark, a memoir that explores the questions raised by living with divided vision in a divided world, including the world of South Africa under apartheid. Clingman was born and raised in Johannesburg and has written widely on South African and transnational literature. He is also the author of The Novels of Nadine Gordimer: History from the Inside, and Bram Fischer: Afrikaner Revolutionary, an acclaimed biography of the white Afrikaner who led Nelson Mandela's legal defense at the Rivonia Trial. Bram Fischer won the Sunday Times/Alan Paton Award, South Africa’s premier prize for nonfiction. Clingman now lives in the United States, where he is professor of English at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and directs the Interdisciplinary Studies Institute.


STEPHANIE ELIZONDO GRIEST is a globe-trotting author from South Texas. Her books include the memoirs Around the Bloc: My Life in Moscow, Beijing, and Havana (Villard/Random House, 2004) and Mexican Enough: My Life Between the Borderlines (Washington Square Press/Simon & Schuster, 2008); the best-selling guidebook 100 Places Every Woman Should Go (Travelers? Tales, 2007); and the forthcoming All the Agents & Saints: Dispatches from the U.S. Borderlands (UNC Press, 2017). She has also written for the New York Times, Washington Post, VQR, The Believer, Oxford American, Latina, and she edited the anthology Best Women?s Travel Writing 2010. Her distinctions include a Henry Luce Scholarship to China, a Hodder Fellowship at Princeton, the Margolis Award for Social Justice Reporting, and a Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Gold Prize. A renowned speaker, she is currently Assistant Professor of Creative Nonfiction at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Visit her website at StephanieElizondoGriest.com.

ROBERT GIPE is the author of Trampoline: An Illustrated Novel, a book that critics have called a new American masterpiece. Gipe directs the Appalachian Program at Southeast Kentucky Community & Technical College in Cumberland, Kentucky, serves as faculty coordinator of the Crawdad student arts series, and is executive producer of Higher Ground, a series of community musical dramas based on oral histories and grounded in discussion of local issues. He has also worked as marketing and educational services director for Appalshop, a media arts center in Whitesburg, Kentucky. He was born in North Carolina, raised in Kingsport, Tennessee, and now lives in Harlan, Kentucky, where he is at work on a second novel called Weedeater.


MICHAEL KNIGHT is the author Eveningland, a collection of linked stories, the novels The Typist and Divining Rod, the short story collections Goodnight, Nobody and Dogfight and Other Stories, and the book of novellas The Holiday Season. His most recent novel, The Typist, was selected as a Best Book of the Year by The Huffington Post and The Kansas City Star, among other places, and appeared on Oprah’s Summer Reading List in 2011. His short stories have appeared in magazines and journals like The New Yorker, Oxford American, Paris Review and The Southern Review and have been anthologized in Best American Mystery Stories, 2004 and New Stories from the South: The Year’s Best 1999, 2003, 2004 and 2009. He has won the Robert Penn Warren Prize for Excellence in Fiction, and a New Writing Award from the Fellowship of Southern Writers. Knight teaches creative writing at the University of Tennessee and lives in Knoxville with his family.

ROGER MAY is an Appalachian American photographer and writer based in Raleigh, North Carolina. He was born in the Tug River Valley, located on the West Virginia and Kentucky state line, in the heart of Hatfield and McCoy country. His photographs, essays, and interviews have been published by The New York Times, The Guardian, The Atlantic, Al Jazeera America, National Geographic, The Oxford American, Le Monde diplomatique, Photo District News, and others. In February 2014, he started the crowdsourced Looking at Appalachia project.


RAY MCMANUS is the author of three books of poetry: Punch. (published by Hub City Press and winner of the 2015 IPPY for best book of poetry by an independent publisher), Red Dirt Jesus (winner of the Marick Press Poetry Prize), and Driving through the Country before You Are Born (published by USC Press and winner of the South Carolina Poetry Book Award). McManus is the coeditor of Found Anew, an anthology published jointly by Pat Conroy's Story River Books imprint and Nikky Finney's Palmetto Poetry Series. McManus is an associate professor of English at the University of South Carolina Sumter, where he directs the South Carolina Center for Oral Narrative and works closely with K-12 educators on teaching creative writing using standard curriculum.



CARRIE MULLINS is a fiction writer whose work has been published in Chicago Quarterly Review, Appalachian Heritage, Kudzu, and the online literary journal Still. Her short story “Cell-Life” appears in Appalachia Now: Short Stories of Contemporary Appalachia. Mullins grew up in Mt. Vernon, Kentucky, where she still lives. Night Garden is her first novel.




ELENA PASSARELLO is the author of two essay collections, Let Me Clear My Throat and Animals Strike Curious Poses, bothpublished by Sarabande Books. Her essays on performance, pop culture, and the natural world have recently appeared in Virginia Quarterly Review, Oxford American, Iowa Review, Slate, and the anthologies After Montaigne and Cat Is Art Spelled Wrong. A winner of the 2015 Whiting Award, Passarello teaches in the MFA program at Oregon State University. 


JAMIE QUATRO’s debut collection, I Want To Show You More, is a New York Times Notable Book, NPR Best Book of 2013, Indie Next pick, O, The Oprah Magazine Summer Reading pick, and New York Times Editors’ Choice. Longlisted for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, the collection was named a Top 10 Book of 2013 by Dwight Garner in the New York Times and a Favorite Book of 2013 by James Wood in The New Yorker. The collection was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction, the Georgia Townsend Fiction Prize, and the National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Prize. A second collection and novel are forthcoming from Grove Atlantic.


PAT RIVIERE-SEEL is poet, a runner, a woman who has lived long enough to have “past” and “former” prefixes for more jobs and volunteer positions than she can name without looking at a resume. She is a co-editor of the anthology Kakalak and the author of two prize-winning poetry chapbooks: No Turning Back Now and The Serial Killer’s Daughter, winner of the Roanoke-Chowan Award. Her most recent poetry collection, Nothing Below but Air, was a semifinalist for the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award. The Serial Killer’s Daughter has been turned into a one act play and performed by Shared Radiance Theatre. Pat has taught in UNC Asheville’s Great Smokies Writing Program, and in 2012 she held a unique position as poet-in-residence at the NC Zoo.  Before earning her MFA from Queens University of Charlotte, she worked as a newspaper journalist, publicist, and lobbyist. She lives in Asheville, NC.


SUE WEAVER-DUNLAP was born and raised in Knoxville, Tennessee, and now lives deep in the Southern Appalachian Mountains near Walland, Tennessee, where she and her husband live on and work a mountain cattle farm. Here, among the turkeys, deer, pets, and Angus cattle, she writes poetry, fiction, and memoir. Dunlap holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Tennessee and advanced degrees from Lincoln Memorial University. She recently retired from teaching high school English. Her poems and prose have appeared in Appalachian Journal, Anthology of Appalachian Writers, Appalachian Heritage, Still: The Journal, and Southern Poetry Anthology, among other anthologies and journals. Dunlap’s new collection of poetry is entitled Knead. Her chapbook The Story Tender was released by Finishing Line Press in 2014.


PAUL WORLEY is a poet and the author of Telling and Being Told: Storytelling and Cultural Control in Contemporary Mexican andYukatek Maya Literatures. He is a professor of English at Western Carolina University with research interests in contemporary Latin American literatures and cultures, indigenous rights movements in Latin America, Postcolonial Theory, Subaltern Studies, and Digital Humanities.