2017 INDUCTEES

RICK BRAGG

Journalist and author Rick Bragg, a native of Possum Trot, Alabama, is a professor of writing and a former newspaper reporter who has written extensively about life in the South. The author of The Prince of Frogtown, Bragg is revered for having penned “perhaps the most authentic and soulful treatment ever written of the rural blue collar culture of the South, cotton mill and moonshine still included.” His other five books include All Over But the Shoutin’, Ava’s Man, I Am a Soldier Too: The Jessica Lynch Story, The Most They Ever Had, and Jerry Lee Lewis: His Own Story. In 1994, Rick Bragg joined the New York Times as a reporter, and in 1996, he won the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing for the articles he produced during that time. While there, he covered such stories as the Oklahoma City bombing, the Jonesboro, Arkansas, killings, and the Susan Smith murder trial. Bragg’s book All Over But the Shoutin’ tells the story of his Alabama childhood, his desire to become a journalist, and the struggles and stories of the people he knew and loved. He now teaches narrative nonfiction, among other subjects, at the University of Alabama.

HAL CROWTHER

Journalist and essayist Hal Crowther is the author of Cathedrals of Kudzu: A Personal Landscape of the South, which received the Lillian Smith Book Award and the 1999-2001 Fellowship Prize for Nonfiction from the Fellowship of Southern Writers. In 1992, his syndicated column received the Baltimore Sun’s H. L. Mencken Writing Award, and in 1998 it won the American Association of Newsweeklies first prize for commentary. In 2000, he received the Russell J. Jandoli Award for Excellence in Journalism from St. Bonaventure University. “Dealers’ Choice,” Crowther’s column on southern life and letters, has been featured in Oxford American since 1994. Other major works include An Infuriating American: The Incendiary Arts of H. L. Mencken; Gather at the River: Notes from the Post-Millennial South; and Unarmed but Dangerous: A Withering Attack on All Things Phony, Foolish, and Fundamentally Wrong with America Today. Crowther, who has spent more than half of his life in the South, is praised for having “an ear for speech rhythms, for cadences,” and for being a “writer with a sense of the absurd, the ironic, the mock epic.” He is a graduate of Williams College and the Columbia University School of Journalism and lives in North Carolina.

JOHN T. EDGE

John T. Edge is a writer and commentator who has written extensively on Southern culture and food and currently serves as the Director of the Southern Foodways Alliance, an institute of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi where he documents, studies, and celebrates the diverse food cultures of the American South. He has written dozens of books on Southern food and contributes regularly to Oxford American and the New York Times as well as for Garden & Gun and Afar. Published works include Fried Chicken: An American Story, Apple Pie: An American Story, Southern Belly, and The Truck Food Cookbook. He is a regular contributor to NPR’s All Things Considered and has appeared on television shows including CBS Sunday Morning and Iron Chef. In 2012, Edge won the MFK Fisher Distinguished Writing Award from the James Beard Foundation and his work has been featured in ten editions of Best Food Writing Anthology. A native of Georgia, Edge earned a master’s degree in Southern Studies from the University of Mississippi and an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Goucher College. He is currently working on a book titled The Potlikker Papers, a personal history of Southern food.

NIKKY FINNEY

Poet Nikky Finney is the author of the National Book Award winning book of poetry Head Off & Split and other books of poetry including On Wings Made of Gauze, Rice, Heartwood, and The World is Round. Finney is also a founding member of the Affrilachian Poets, a group of black Appalachian poets. She has received numerous awards for her work, including a PEN America Open Book Award and the Benjamin Franklin Award for Poetry. Finney is the Provost’s Distinguished Service Professor of English at the University of Kentucky and currently lives in Lexington. Born in 1957 in South Carolina, Finney’s engagement with political activism has also influenced her trajectory as a poet. Her work is recognized for weaving the personal and political as a “graceful, heartfelt synthesis of the two.” Finney’s poems explore subjects ranging from the human devastation of Hurricane Katrina to Rosa Parks to the career path of Condoleezza Rice.

Tom Franklin

Alabama native Tom Franklin is the author of four books, and his stories have been published in a number of journals and anthologies, including New Stories from the South, The Year’s Best, 1999; Best American Mystery Stories, 1999 and 2000, and Best Mystery Stories of the Century. Poachers: Stories was published in 1999 and is a collection of ten short stories set in Alabama. The title story in that collection was awarded an Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Mystery Story. His four books of fiction also include Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter, Smonk, and Hell at the Breach, and he is co-author of the novel The Tilted World. Franklin is a graduate of the University of South Alabama with a bachelor’s in English and he earned an MFA from the University of Arkansas. Franklin currently teaches at the University of Mississippi and is praised for being a “writer of immense gifts; he often enters the dark regions of the human soul but he

can be compassionate and humorous, too. But . . . it is his stunning use of language that makes him such an exceptional writer.”

Amy Greene

Tennessee native Amy Greene’s debut novel, Bloodroot, was published in 2010 and was a New York Times and national bestseller, earning the distinction that year of a New York Times Editor’s Choice pick. The novel, set in blue-collar Appalachia, was named one of Amazon’s Best Books of 2010 and made the Indie Next List before its debut. Greene won the Weatherford Award in 2010 and her work has earned praise from such publications as USA Today, The Boston Globe, and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Bloodroot is described as “the dark and riveting story of the legacies – of magic and madness, faith and secrets, passion and loss – that haunt one family across the generations.” In 2010 she was named Tennessee Writer of the Year. In 2014, Long Man, her second novel, was published, also to high reviews. Described as an “unusually poetic literary thriller,” Greene’s work is praised for “giv[ing] voice to alluring characters [and to] the aching desires of unsophisticated people who possess a complex, profound understanding of themselves and their doomed way of life.” Greene earned a bachelor’s degree from Vermont College in 2008. In 2011, she was awarded the Weatherford Award for Fiction at Berea.

Jeff Hardin

Jeff Hardin was born in Hardin County, Tennessee, an eighth generation descendant of the county's founder. He is a graduate of Austin Peay State University and the University of Alabama, where he earned an MFA in Poetry. He is the author of two chapbooks, Deep in the Shallows and The Slow Hill Out, as well as four collections of poetry: Fall Sanctuary, recipient of the Nicholas Roerich Prize from Story Line Press; Notes for a Praise Book; Restoring the Narrative, which received the Donald Justice Poetry Prize, and Small Revolution. A limited edition letterpress collection, Until That Yellow Bird Returns, was published in 2015. Nearly 500 of his poems have appeared in such journals as The Southern Review, North American Review, Ploughshares, The New Republic, The Hudson Review, The Gettysburg Review, Southwest Review, Poetry Northwest, Hotel Amerika, Meridian, Tar River Poetry, The Florida Review, Southern Poetry Review, Poem, Zone 3, and many others. His poems have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize multiple times and have been featured on Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, and The Writer's Almanac. He is a professor of English at Columbia State Community College in Columbia, Tennessee, and is an editor for the online journal.

Silas House

Silas House is a novelist, journalist, columnist, and environmental activist, a native of Kentucky who based several of his books in the fictional Crow County. His first novel, Clay’s Quilt, was published in 2001 and was followed in 2003 by the national bestseller A Parchment of Leaves. That book was a finalist for the Southern Book Critics’ Circle Prize and won the Award for Special Achievement from the Fellowship of Southern Writers, the Chaffin Award for Literature, and the Kentucky Novel of the Year Award. His next book, The Coal Tattoo, was published in 2004 and was a finalist for the Southern Book Critics’ Circle Prize as well as the winner of the Appalachian Writers’ Association Book of the Year Award and the Kentucky Novel of the Year Award. His 2009 non-fiction work Something’s Rising, co-written with Jason Howard, is a series of profiles of anti-mountaintop removal activists from the region. House has also written short stories, including “Recruiters,” and plays, including This is My Heart for You. His 2012 first book for middle-grade students, Same Sun Here, won the Parents Choice Award. House earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Spalding University where he has also served as faculty.

Holly Goddard Jones

Kentucky native Holly Goddard Jones is the author of the 2009 story collection Girl Trouble, set in fictional Roma, Kentucky, containing stories that “range across lines of age, sex, and class, investigating a community that is proud, defiant, and struggling.” The collection was the recipient of an Indie Next Notable Book. Her 2013 novel The Next Time You See Me, also set in fictional Roma, Kentucky, centers on the discovery of a murdered woman and is praised for being “less of a whodunit than an immersion into the community.” Her next book, a dystopian fantasy entitled The Salt Line, will be released this year. Goddard Jones’s short fiction and nonfiction appear regularly in such journals as Salon, Tin House, The Southern Review, and Mystery Scene Magazine. She is the recipient of many honors, including the 2007 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Award, the 2013 Hillsdale Award for Fiction from the Fellowship of Southern Writers, and the 2014 Kentucky Literary Award. She is currently an Associate Professor of English at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where she holds the Candace Bernard and Robert Glickman Dean's Professorship.

Michael Knight

Author Michael Knight is the author of two novels, Divining Rod and The Typist; two collections of short fiction, Dogfight and Other Stories and Goodnight, Nobody; and a collection of novellas, The Holiday Season. His fiction has appeared in publications such as Esquire, The New Yorker

and Oxford American. The Typist chronicles the early, halting rehabilitation of the grisly Pacific theater of the Second World War, particularly occupied Japan, where Western bureaucrats flooded into Tokyo, taking charge of their former enemies. The Typist has been described as a “beautiful portrait of a kind of walking pneumonia of the spirit that seeks and finds its own cure.” He has received numerous awards, including the New Writing Award from the Fellowship of Southern Writers and the Hemingway/PEN Award Special Citation, both in 1999, and the Henfield Foundation Award for Fiction for 1996. His most recent novel was selected for a Best Book of the Year by The Huffington Post and the Kansas City Star. Knight, who earned an MFA from the University of Virginia and a master’s from the University of Southern Mississippi, currently teaches creative writing at the University of Tennessee.

Beverly Lowry

Mississippi native Beverly Lowry is the author of six novels, four works of nonfiction, and several short stories, many of which are set in the fictional Mississippi town of Eunola. A graduate of the University of Memphis with a degree in English literature, Lowry has served as an Associate Professor of English at the University of Houston and as the Director of the Creative Nonfiction Writing Program at George Mason University. Her first novel, published in 1977, is titled Come Back, Lolly Ray, and was followed by Emma Blue in 1978. Other novels include Daddy’s Girl, The Perfect Sonya, Breaking Gentle, and The Track of Real Desires. A fourth work of non- fiction, Who Killed These Girls?: Cold Case, the Yogurt Shop Murders, is set for release in October 2016 by Knopf. Her works have appeared in numerous periodicals including The New Yorker, Oxford American, The Gettysburg Review, Rolling Stone, and The New York Times. She is the winner of a Richard Wright Award for Literary Excellence, the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award for Fiction, The Texas Institute of Letters Jesse Jones Award for Fiction, a Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship and a Guggenheim Foundation Award.

David Madden

Playwright, novelist, critic, and historian David Madden is the author of Cassandra Singing, The Suicide’s Widow, and Bijou, and he has taught at many institutions, including Louisiana State University. He is widely praised for his 1978 work The Suicide’s Widow, the wrenching story of a young woman trying to make sense of her husband’s death, a woman who “examin[es] her own behavior as well as that of others who knew the deceased, confused about both motive and blame.” Madden’s major novel Bijou, published in 1974, is a narrative centering around his life- long passion for film and the world of film, beginning with his work as a teenager at the Bijou

theater in his native hometown of Knoxville, Tennessee. Born in 1933, Madden was influenced by his mother’s struggles to raise a family during The Great Depression and those struggles are often reflected in his works. In addition to his fiction, Madden has published a number of critical and historical works, including two important studies of the noir novelist James M. Cain and two textbooks on fiction techniques. He has also edited a dozen volumes of essays about writers ranging from Nathaniel West to James Agee.

Ed McClanahan

A native of Kentucky, Ed McClanahan is a graduate of Miami (Ohio) University and the University of Kentucky and has taught English and creative writing at a number of institutions, including Oregon State University, Stanford University, The University of Montana, and Northern Kentucky University. He has written a number of books including the novel The Natural Man, a semi-comic autobiography called Famous People I Have Known, and three novellas entitled A Congress of Wonders, which were condensed into a prize-winning short film in 1993. My Vita, If You Will is a collection of previously unpublished fiction, non-fiction, reviews, and commentary and was released in 1998. McClanahan’s memoir titled Fondelle: or The Whore with a Heart of Gold was published in 2002 and his latest work is entitled I Just Hitched in from the Coast: The Ed McClanahan Reader. His work has appeared in many magazines, including Esquire, Rolling Stone, and Playboy, and twice won Playboy’s Best Nonfiction Award. Over the course of his career, he has also been awarded a Wallace Stegner Fellowship, two Yaddo Fellowships, and an Al Smith Fellowship.

Elizabeth Seydel Morgan

Author of five books of poetry, Elizabeth Seydel Morgan is an Atlanta, Georgia, native and a graduate of Hollins College who received her MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University and currently lives in Richmond, Virginia. Her books of poetry include Language, a limited edition with prints by artist Laura Pharis, and several other collections published by Louisiana State University Press: Parties; The Governor of Desire; and On Long Mountain. Her latest collection of poetry, released in 2014, is entitled Spans. She has won many awards for her fiction, including the Emily Clark Balch Award from the Virginia Quarterly Review. Morgan’s screenplay Queen Esther won the 1993 Governor’s Award for Screenwriting at the Virginia Film Festival. She was a finalist for the Library of Virginia Poetry Prize and has been the recipient of a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Poems from her new manuscript have been

published in The Southern Review, Five Points, Shenandoah, New Virginia Review, and The Cartland Review.

Chris Offutt

Author Chris Offutt was raised in Kentucky and is the author of a number of novels, short stories, nonfiction works and memoirs. In 1992, Offutt’s first short story collection, Kentucky Straight, was published, followed by his 1993 memoir The Same River Twice. In 1997 his first novel, The Good Brother, was published. He has been a visiting faculty member at Iowa Writers’ Workshop, the University of Montana, the University of New Mexico, Morehead State University, and the University of Mississippi, among others. In addition to writing fiction, Offutt writes non- fiction articles that have been published in the New York Times, Men’s Journal, and Oxford American. His works have been praised for presenting “a fascinating blend of pathos and wit,” and his stories have been included in many anthologies, including Best American Short Stories, and New Stories of the South. He has received awards from the Lannan Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the National Endowment for the Arts. He received a Whiting Award for Fiction and Nonfiction. In addition to his writing, Offutt is an actor and screenwriter and has written episodes for the television series True Blood and Weeds. FYI: Offutt’s new book My Father the Pornographer was released this spring.

Ann Pancake

American fiction writer and essayist Ann Pancake has written short stories and essays describing the people and atmosphere of Appalachia, often from the first-person perspective of those who know it best, those who live there. Many of the characters in her fiction reside in rural West Virginia, and her stories capture the widespread poverty of the region during the 20th century, which is often reflected through the incidences of violence and domestic abuse contained in her tales. Many of her characters “live in opposition to mainstream American society,” albeit subconsciously, while “others revel in their outsider status and maintain a connection to nature that resists societal pressures.” Pancake earned a bachelor’s degree from West Virginia University, a master’s degree from the University of North Carolina, and a Ph.D. from the University of Washington. She has taught in the United States, American Samoa, Japan, and Thailand. She currently lives in Seattle, Washington. Major works include the story collection Given Ground and the novel Strange As This Weather Has Been.

John Jeremiah Sullivan

Kentucky native John Jeremiah Sullivan, author of Blood Horses: Notes of a Sportswriter’s Son, is a contributing writer to The New York Times Magazine, a contributing editor of Harper’s Magazine, and southern editor of The Paris Review. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Sewanee: The University of the South in 1997. Blood Sport, published in 2004, is in part a reminiscence, in part an elegy for his father, and in part an investigation into the history and culture of the thoroughbred racehorse. His second book is titled Pulphead: Essays and is an anthology of 14 published magazine articles. One of those articles, “Mister Lytle: An Essay,” was published in The Paris Review and won a number of awards, including the 2011 National Magazine Award and the 2011 Pushcart Prize. In that essay, Sullivan recounted how he lived in Mr. Lytle’s home when Lytle was in his nineties, and while helping him with household chores gained wisdom about writing and life. Other major awards have included the 2003 Eclipse Award for Blood Horses, the 2004 Whiting Award for Non-Fiction, and the 2015 Windham- Campbell Literature Prize.

Brad Watson

American author Brad Watson is a native of Mississippi and author of the 2001 short story collection, The Last Days of the Dog-Men, which won the Sue Kaufman Award for First Fiction. His 2002 novel The Heaven of Mercury was nominated for a National Book Award and his 2010 collection of short stories Aliens in the Prime of Their Lives received positive reviews in The New York Times. “Alamo Plaza,” a short story, appeared in the PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories 2011: The Best Stories of the Year in 2011. Described as “a writer’s writer,” Watson is praised for the “quintessential melding of language and plot” that takes place in his works. Other stories and articles by Watson have appeared in The New Yorker, Oxford American, The Yalobusha Review, Greensboro Review, and the Idaho Review. A graduate of Mississippi State University and the University of Alabama, Watson currently teaches creative writing and literature for the English Department of the University of Wyoming. His new novel, Miss Jane, is scheduled for release in July 2016.

Kevin Wilson

Author Kevin Wilson is the author of the story collection Tunneling to the Center of the Earth, which received an Alex Award from the American Library Association and the Shirley Jackson Award, and a novel, The Family Fang. His fiction has appeared in Ploughshares, Tin House, One Story, Cincinnati Review and others, and his work has been anthologized in New Stories of

the South: The Year’s Best as well as The Pen/O. Henry Prize Stories 2012. His short stories have been described as “Southern gothic at its best, laced with humor and pathos . . . . explor{ing} the relationship between loss and death and the many ways we try to cope with both.” A graduate of the University of Florida where he earned a Master in Fine Arts degree, Wilson has received fellowships from MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, and the KHN Center for the Arts. He lives in Tennessee, where he is an Assistant Professor of English at Sewanee: The University of the South.

Kevin Young

Kevin Young is an American poet who has authored Most Way Home, To Repel Ghosts, Jelly Roll, Black Maria, For the Confederate Dead, Dear Darkness, and has edited Giant Steps: The New Generation of African American Writers, Blues Poems, Jazz Poems, and John Berryman's Selected Poems. A 1992 graduate of Harvard College, Young held a Stegner Fellowship at Stanford University and received an MFA from Brown University. His 1993 book of poetry Most Way Home was selected for the National Poetry Series by Lucille Clifton and was awarded the John C. Zacharis First Book Prize from Ploughshares Magazine. Young’s poetry has been published in many publications, including The New Yorker, Poetry Magazine, The Paris Review, Ploughshares, and The Virginia Quarterly Review. His 2003 collection of poems Jelly Roll was a finalist for the National Book Award and his poem “Black Cat Blues” was included in The Best American Poetry 2005. He was named a Guggenheim Foundation Fellow in 2003 as well as a NEA Literature Fellow in Poetry. He currently teaches writing at Emory University where he is the Atticus Haygood Professor of English and Creative Writing as well as the curator of the Raymond Danowski Poetry Library.

BRAD WATSON

American author Brad Watson is a native of Mississippi and author of the 2001 short story collection, The Last Days of the Dog-Men, which won the Sue Kaufman Award for First Fiction. His 2002 novel The Heaven of Mercury was nominated for a National Book Award and his 2010 collection of short stories Aliens in the Prime of Their Lives received positive reviews in The New York Times. “Alamo Plaza,” a short story, appeared in the PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories 2011: The Best Stories of the Year in 2011. Described as “a writer’s writer,” Watson is praised for the “quintessential melding of language and plot” that takes place in his works. Other stories and articles by Watson have appeared in The New Yorker, Oxford American, The Yalobusha Review, Greensboro Review, and the Idaho Review. A graduate of Mississippi State University and the University of Alabama, Watson currently teaches creative writing and literature for the English Department of the University of Wyoming. His new novel, Miss Jane, was released in 2016. 

BEVERLY LOWRY

Mississippi native Beverly Lowry is the author of six novels, four works of nonfiction, and several short stories, many of which are set in the fictional Mississippi town of Eunola. A graduate of the University of Memphis with a degree in English literature, Lowry has served as an Associate Professor of English at the University of Houston and as the Director of the Creative Nonfiction Writing Program at George Mason University. Her first novel, published in 1977, is titled Come Back, Lolly Ray, and was followed by Emma Blue in 1978. Other novels include Daddy’s Girl, The Perfect Sonya, Breaking Gentle, and The Track of Real Desires. A fourth work of non- fiction, Who Killed These Girls?: Cold Case, the Yogurt Shop Murders, was released in October 2016 by Knopf. Her works have appeared in numerous periodicals including The New Yorker, Oxford American, The Gettysburg Review, Rolling Stone, and The New York Times. She is the winner of a Richard Wright Award for Literary Excellence, the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award for Fiction, The Texas Institute of Letters Jesse Jones Award for Fiction, a Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship and a Guggenheim Foundation Award. 

ROBERT BAUSCH

Georgia native Robert Bausch is the author of nine highly-praised novels and one collection of short stories, including the novel Almighty Me, which was subsequently turned into a film, Bruce Almighty. A graduate of George Mason University, where he earned a bachelor’s, a master’s, and an MFA degree, Bausch received an award for Most Distinguished Fiction for 1995 by Dictionary of Literary Biography for his story collection The White Rooster and Other Stories. Other novels written by Bausch, who is the identical twin brother of writer Richard Bausch, include A Hole in the Earth, a novel that designated a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and a Washington Post Favorite Book of the Year in 2001. Other highly acclaimed novels include The Gypsy Man, Out of Season, and Far as the Eye Can See. Two novels, The Legend of Jesse Smoke and In the Fall They Come Back are set for release this year. He was a 2005 recipient of the Fellowship of Southern Writers Hillsdale Prize and in 2009 was awarded the John Dos Passos Prize in Literature. He has taught at the University of Virginia, American University, Johns Hopkins University, and Northern Virginia Community College.

TOM FRANKLIN

Alabama native Tom Franklin is the author of four books, and his stories have been published in a number of journals and anthologies, including New Stories from the South, The Year’s Best, 1999; Best American Mystery Stories, 1999 and 2000, and Best Mystery Stories of the Century. Poachers: Stories was published in 1999 and is a collection of ten short stories set in Alabama. The title story in that collection was awarded an Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Mystery Story. His four books of fiction also include Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter, Smonk, and Hell at the Breach, and he is co-author of the novel The Tilted World. Franklin is a graduate of the University of South Alabama with a bachelor’s in English and he earned an MFA from the University of Arkansas. Franklin currently teaches at the University of Mississippi and is praised for being a “writer of immense gifts; he often enters the dark regions of the human soul but he can be compassionate and humorous, too. But . . . it is his stunning use of language that makes him such an exceptional writer.”

SILAS HOUSE

Silas House is a novelist, journalist, columnist, and environmental activist, a native of Kentucky who based several of his books in the fictional Crow County. His first novel, Clay’s Quilt, was published in 2001 and was followed in 2003 by the national bestseller A Parchment of Leaves. That book was a finalist for the Southern Book Critics’ Circle Prize and won the Award for Special Achievement from the Fellowship of Southern Writers, the Chaffin Award for Literature, and the Kentucky Novel of the Year Award. His next book, The Coal Tattoo, was published in 2004 and was a finalist for the Southern Book Critics’ Circle Prize as well as the winner of the Appalachian Writers’ Association Book of the Year Award and the Kentucky Novel of the Year Award. His 2009 non-fiction work Something’s Rising, co-written with Jason Howard, is a series of profiles of anti-mountaintop removal activists from the region. House has also written short stories, including “Recruiters,” and plays, including This is My Heart for You. His 2012 first book for middle-grade students, Same Sun Here, won the Parents Choice Award. House earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Spalding University where he has also served as faculty.

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