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Members of the Fellowship are now available year-round for readings, symposia and book-signings at far less than their usual fees. Host institutions – universities, libraries, cultural centers and other organizations – may select three Fellows to appear as a part of the series.


For presentations by the three writers, the hosts will contribute $5,000 in support of Fellowship prizes and other activities that promote the literary arts in the South. Hosts will also pay the Fellows’ travel expenses. For an additional contribution, hosts may schedule a panel or other formal discussion.


For information on the Benefit Reading Series, contact Jane Taylor, Liason to the Fellowship at


BRS Fellows


Dorothy Allison's first novel, Bastard Out of Carolina, was a finalist for the 1992 National Book Award, while her second, Cavedweller, won the 1998 Lamda Literary Award for Fiction and was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Her short story, "Compassion," appeared in Best American Short Stories: 2003 and Best of the South: 2003. Her latest book is She, Who.


Richard Bausch is the author of 18 books, most recently Peace, Something Is Out There, and Before, During, After. His novel, The Last Good Time was made into a feature-length motion picture, directed by Bob Balaban, starring Armin Meuhler-Stahl, Maureen Stapleton, and Lionel Stander, released in April 1995. Peace was awarded the 2010 Dayton International Literary Peace Prize.


Madison Smartt Bell is the author of thirteen novels, including The Washington Square Ensemble (1983), Waiting for the End of the World (1985), Straight Cut (1986), The Year of Silence (1987), Doctor Sleep (1991), Save Me, Joe Louis (1993), Ten Indians (1997) and Soldier's Joy, which received the Lillian Smith Award in 1989. Bell has also published two collections of short stories: Zero db (1987) and Barking Man (1990).


Roy Blount Jr. is the author of twenty-three books, about everything from the first woman president of the United States to what barnyard animals are thinking. Latest is Save Room for Pie: Food Songs and Chewy Ruminations. He is a panelist on NPR's Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me, as well as a contributing writer for the Oxford American and Garden & Gun magazine. 


Clyde Edgerton is the author of ten novels including The Night Train, Raney, and Walking Across Egypt. Edgerton’s short stories and essays have been published in New York Times Magazine, Best American Short Stories, Southern Review, Oxford American, Garden & Gun and other publications. Among Edgerton’s awards are: Guggenheim Fellowship; Lyndhurst Prize; Honorary Doctorates from UNC-Asheville and St. Andrews Presbyterian College; membership in the Fellowship of Southern Writers; the North Carolina Award for Literature; and five notable book awards from the New York Times.


Percival Everett is the author of nearly thirty books, including Percival Everett by Virgil Russell, Assumption, Erasure, I Am Not Sidney Poitier, and Glyph. He is the recipient of the Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, the Believer Book Award, and the 2006 PEN USA Center Award for Fiction. He has fly fished the west for over thirty years. He lives in Los Angeles.


Allan Gurganus's books include Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All, White People, Plays Well with Others, The Practical Heart and, most recently, Local Souls and Decoy. Gurganus’s essays are seen on the Op-Ed page of the New York Times and in The New York Review of Books. He has won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the American Academy’s Sue Kaufman Prize for best first novel, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Lambda Literary Award and the National Magazine Award. Film adaptations of Gurganus’s work have won four Emmys.


Beth Henley received the Pulitzer Prize and a New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award in 1981 for her play, Crimes of the Heart, as well as Tony and Academy Award nominations.  Henley adapted her play, The Miss Firecracker Contest, into a film starring Holly Hunter. Her latest play is The Jacksonian. A Distinguished Professor of Theatre Arts at Loyola Marymount University, she received the 2010 ATHE Career Achievement Award in Professional Theatre, and the 2013 Cleanth Brooks Lifetime Achievement Award from the Fellowship of Southern Writers.


Andrew Hudgins has published nine books of poetry; a memoir, The Joker; and two collections of literary essays. Saints and Strangers was one of three finalists for the 1985 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry; After the Lost War received the Poets’ Prize in 1989, and The Never-Ending was one of five finalists for the National Book Award in 1991. Hudgins was a Guggenheim Fellow is 2004, as well as a Wallace Stegner fellow at Stanford University, and he has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts.


Josephine Humphreys is the Charleston-born author of four novels: Dreams of Sleep, winner of the 1984 Pen/Hemingway award for best first novel; Rich in Love, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, with a movie version starring Albert Finney and Jill Clayburgh; The Fireman’s Fair, also a New York Times Notable Book, and Nowhere Else on Earth, winner of the Southern Book award. Humphreys has won a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Lyndhurst Prize, and a Literature award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.


Randall Kenan's collection of stories Let the Dead Bury Their Dead was nominated for the Los Angeles Times Book Award for Fiction, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and was among the New York Times Notable Books of 1992. Walking on Water: Black American Lives at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century was nominated for the Southern Book Award. His latest book, The Fire This Time, was published in May 2007. He is currently working on a novel, "There’s a Man Going Round Taking Names," set in North Carolina and New York City; and a collection of short stories, "If I Had Two Wings."


Mason's first book of fiction, Shiloh & Other Stories, 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 an Arts and Letters Award for Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She is also the author of In CountryThe Girl in the Blue Beret, Nancy Culpepper, and Clear Springs.


Jill McCorkle is the author of ten books of fiction. Five of her published books have been named New York Times Notable Books. Four of her stories have appeared in Best American Short Stories and several have been collected in New Stories from the South. Her story "Intervention" is included in the Norton Anthology of Short Fiction. An essay, “Cuss Time,” originally published in The American Scholar was selected for Best American Essays. McCorkle has received the New England Booksellers Award, the John Dos Passos Prize for Excellence in Literature and the North Carolina Award for Literature. McCorkle has taught at Harvard, Brandeis and NC State. She is core faculty in the Bennington Writing Seminars and frequently teaches in the Sewanee Writers Program.


Robert Morgan is the author of fourteen books of poetry, most recently Dark Energy, 2015. He has also published nine volumes of fiction, including Gap Creek, a New York Times bestseller. A sequel, The Road from Gap Creek, was published in 2013 and received the 2014 Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award. A new novel, Chasing the North Star, will be published in 2016. Morgan is the recipient of the Academy Award in Literature by the American Academy of Arts and Letters, an O. Henry short story award, and fellowships from the Guggenheim and Rockefeller foundations, the National Endowment for the Arts.


Sam Pickering grew up in Nashville, Tennessee.  He spent 67 years in classrooms, beginning with kindergarten.  He lives in Storrs, Connecticut.  He has written 29 books, the most recent being Happy Vagrancy (University of Tennessee Press, 2015) and One Grand, Sweet Song (Texas Review Press, 2016).


Wyatt Prunty is the author of nine collections of poetry, most recently, The Lover’s Guide to Trapping (2009), and Couldn’t Prove, Had to Promise (2015). He is a recipient of Guggenheim, Rockefeller, Johns Hopkins, and Brown Foundation fellowships. Prunty currently directs the Sewanee Writers’ Conference and the Tennessee Williams Fellowship program, and he recently served as Chancellor of the Fellowship of Southern Writers.


John Shelton Reed has written or edited 20 books, most recently Minding the South (a collection of essays and reviews); Dixie Bohemia: A French Quarter Circle in the 1920s; and Barbecue: A Savor the South Cookbook. A former Chancellor of the Fellowship, he taught for many years at The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, where he helped to found both the Center for the Study of the American South and the quarterly Southern Cultures. He now lives in Chatham County, North Carolina.


Dave Smith has published twenty three books, the most recent Hawks on Wires: Poems 2005-2010 and Hunting Men: Reflections on a Life in American Poetry. Among his literary honors are fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Lyndhurst Foundation.


Lee Smith is the author of 17 works of fiction including Fair and Tender Ladies, Oral History, and recent novel, Guests on Earth. She has received many awards including the North Carolina Award for Literature and an Academy Award in Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters; her novel The Last Girls was a New York Times bestseller as well as winner of the Southern Book Critics Circle Award. Dimestore, A Writer’s Life, a collection of personal essays, was published in March 2016.


Elizabeth Spencer's most recent book is Starting Over: Stories. Her other titles include The Southern Woman: Selected Fiction, The Voice at the Back Door, The Salt Line, The Night Travellers, and The Light in the Piazza, made into a movie in 1963 and was premiered as a musical production on Broadway in spring 2005. It received very good reviews, and won six Tony Awards in June 2006. She is a member of the American Academy of Årts and Letters, and a charter member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers. Spencer’s writing has received numerous awards, including the Award of Merit from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 2007 she received the PEN/Malamud Award for Short Fiction. Her latest awards are the Lifetime Achievement Award from The Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters, and the 2013 Rea Award for Short Fiction.


A Guggenheim, Lila-Wallace and NEA Fellow, Ellen Bryant Voigt was Professor of Poetry at MIT for three years and has taught at the Bread Loaf, Aspen, Indiana, Napa, Catskills, Sarah Lawrence, and RopeWalk Writers’ Conferences. Voigt has published eight books of poetry: Claiming Kin, The Forces of Plenty, The Lotus Flowers, Two Trees, Kyrie (a National Book Critics’ Circle Award Finalist and Teasdale Prize winner), Shadow of Heaven (a 2002 National Book Award finalist), Messenger: New and Selected Poems 1976-2006 (a finalist for both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize and the winner of the 2009 Poets’ Prize) and Headwaters (2013). She has received the O.B. Hardison Award for Poetry and Teaching from the Folger Library, and the Merrill Fellowship from the Academy of American Poets, where she later served as a Chancellor, and was recently named a 2015 MacArthur Foundation Fellow.


Allen Wier is the author of a book of stories and four novels, most recently Tehano. He has edited a book on style in contemporary fiction and an anthology of short stories. Recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts grant, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Paisano Fellowship, the Robert Penn Warren Award for Fiction from the Fellowship of Southern Writers, and the John Dos Passos Prize for Literature, Wier is professor emeritus at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

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