Jennifer Haigh — Visiting Writer
Jennifer Haigh is a novelist and short story writer. Her most recent book, the novel HEAT AND LIGHT, won a Literature Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and was named a Best Book of 2016 by The New York Times,The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and NPR. Her previous books include FAITH, THE CONDITION, BAKER TOWERS and MRS. KIMBLE, winner of the PEN/Hemingway Award for debut fiction, and the short story collection NEWS FROM HEAVEN, winner of the Massachusetts Book Award and the PEN New England Award in Fiction. Her short stories have been published in Granta, Electric Literature, The Best American Short Stories and many other places. A native of western Pennsylvania and a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, she is a 2018 Guggenheim Fellow.
Kiese Laymon — Visiting Writer
Kiese Laymon is the author of the novel, Long Division and a collection of essays, How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America, and Heavy: An American Memoir. Heavy, winner of the Andrew Carnegie Medal, the LA Times Isherwood Prize for Autobiographical Prose and Audible’s Audiobook of the Year, was named one of the Best Books of 2018 by the The Undefeated, New York Times, Publishers Weekly, NPR, Broadly, Library Journal , The Washington Post , Southern Living , Entertainment Weekly, San Francisco Chronicle and The New York Times Critics. Laymon has written essays, stories and reviews for numerous publications including Esquire, McSweeneys, New York Times, Virginia Quarterly Review, ESPN the Magazine, Granta, Colorlines, NPR, LitHub, The Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, PEN Journal, Fader, Oxford American, Vanity Fair, The Best American Series, Ebony, Travel and Leisure, Paris Review, Guernica and more. Laymon is currently the Ottilie Schillig Professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Mississippi. He served as the Distinguished Visiting Professor of Nonfiction at the University of Iowa in Fall 2017.
Maggie Smith — Poetry Faculty
Maggie Smith is the author of three books of poetry: Good Bones (Tupelo Press, 2017); The Well Speaks of Its Own Poison(2015); and Lamp of the Body (Red Hen Press, 2005). Smith is also the author of three prizewinning chapbooks. Her poems are widely published and anthologized, appearing in Best American Poetry, the New York Times, Tin House, The Paris Review, Ploughshares, Virginia Quarterly Review, and elsewhere. In 2016 her poem “Good Bones” went viral internationally and has been translated into nearly a dozen languages. Public Radio International called it “the official poem of 2016.”
Caitlin Horrocks — Fiction Faculty
Caitlin Horrocks is author of the novel The Vexations, from Little, Brown. Her story collection This Is Not Your City was a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice and a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers selection. Her stories and essays appear in The New Yorker, The Best American Short Stories, The PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories, The Pushcart Prize, The Paris Review, Tin House, and One Story, as well as other journals and anthologies. Her awards include the Plimpton Prize and fellowships to the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference and the MacDowell Colony. She is on the advisory board of the Kenyon Review, where she recently served as fiction editor. She teaches at Grand Valley State University and in the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College. She lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with her family.
Ravi Howard — CNF Faculty
Ravi Howard received the Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence in 2008 for the novel Like Trees, Walking, a fictionalized account of a true story, the 1981 lynching of a black teenager in Mobile, Alabama. Howard was a finalist for both the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award and the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award for Debut Fiction in 2008. He has recorded commentary for National Public Radio’s All Things Considered, and his work has appeared in The New York Times, Massachusetts Review and Callaloo. He also appeared in the Ted Koppel documentary, The Last Lynching, on the Discovery Channel. Howard has received fellowships and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, Hurston-Wright Foundation, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. His television production work has appeared on HBO, ESPN, Fox Sports 1, and NFL Network. He received a 2004 Sports Emmy for his work on HBO’s Inside the NFL.
Julianna Baggott — Fiction (speculative) faculty
Critically acclaimed, bestselling author Julianna Baggott has published more than twenty books under her own name as well as pen names Bridget Asher and N.E. Bode. Her recent novel, Harriet Wolf’s Seventh Book of Wonders, was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (2015). Her novel Pure, the first of a trilogy, was also a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (2012) and won an ALA Alex Award; James Ponsoldt, the director of Smashed and The Spectacular Now, starring Miles Teller, penned the screenplay while it was in development with Fox2000. There are over one hundred foreign editions of Julianna’s novels published or forthcoming overseas. Baggott’s work has appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The New York Times Modern Love column, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The International Herald Tribune, Glamour, Real Simple, Best Creative Nonfiction, Best American Poetry, and has been read on NPR’s Here and Now, Talk of the Nation, and All Things Considered. Her essays, stories, and poems are highly anthologized.
photo credit Laura Ciocola
Adam Vines is the author of two single-authored books of poetry — Out of Speech (LSU 2018) and The Coal Life (University of Arkansas Press, 2012) — and two collaborative poetry collections written with Allen Jih, Day Kink (Unicorn Press, 2018) and According to Discretion (Unicorn Press, 2018). He has won awards for his teaching from the University of Florida and at UAB, where he is an associate professor in the English Department. He is editor of Birmingham Poetry Review and faculty advisor for the UAB Fishing Team. An avid fisherman, he has published poetry in Poetry, Southwest Review, The Kenyon Review, Gulf Coast, Barrow Street, The Cincinnati Review, 32 Poems, The Literary Review, Five Points, Ecotone, The Hopkins Review, Verse Daily, and Poetry Daily, and others.
Seth Brady Tucker — Executive Director & Guest Speaker
Seth Brady Tucker’s second book, (We Deserve the Gods We Ask For, 2014), won the Gival Press Poetry Award and went on to win the Eric Hoffer Book Award in 2015. His first book, (Mormon Boy, 2012), won the 2011 Elixir Press Editor’s Poetry Prize and was a Finalist for the 2013 Colorado Book Award. Recent publications in fiction, poetry, and CNF appear in December, Memoir, Little Patuxent, and others. Seth is an alumnus of both Bread Loaf and Sewanee and has degrees from San Francisco State University, Northern Arizona University, and Florida State University (
Matt Bondurant — Creative Director & Guest Speaker
MATT BONDURANT’s latest novel The Night Swimmer was featured in the New York Times Book Review, Outside Magazine, and The Daily Beast, among others. His second novel The Wettest County in the World (2008) was a New York Times Editor’s Pick, a San Francisco Chronicle Best 50 Books of the Year, an international bestseller, and has been 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 (2005) was an international bestseller, translated into 14 languages worldwide. His non-fiction work has appeared in The Huffington Post, Outside, The Dallas Morning News, The Guardian, and numerous other outlets. Matt has sold multiple original drama TV pilots, including development deals with HBO/Cinemax, Red Wagon Entertainment, and Warner Brothers Television.
We will have our fellows and scholars (who are amazing), announced here in January!
In the meantime, 2019 LWC is over, so See What You Missed Below:
Rebecca Makkai – Visiting Writer
Rebecca Makkai’s most recent novel, The Great Believers was a finalist for the 2018 National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize, and we are proud to announce that her wonderful novel has won the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Literary Excellence!
Makkai is the Chicago-based author of The Hundred-Year House, and The Borrower, as well as the short story collection Music for Wartime. Her short fiction won a 2017 Pushcart Prize, and was chosen for The Best American Short Stories for four consecutive years (2008-2011). The recipient of a 2014 NEA fellowship, Makkai is on the MFA faculties of Sierra Nevada College and Northwestern University, and she is the Artistic Director of StoryStudio Chicago.
Brian Turner – Visiting Writer
His most recent book of poetry, Phantom Noise, was short-listed for the T.S. Eliot Prize in England, and his new memoir, My Life as a Foreign Country is a testament to what brilliant prose does when formed by an award-winning poet. Here, Bullet, Turner’s first book, is viewed as primary reading for most university courses in war writing. His work has appeared on National Public Radio, the BBC, Newshour with Jim Lehrer, Here and Now, and on Weekend America, among others. Brian Turner’s poetry and essays have been published in The New York Times, National Geographic, Poetry Daily, The Georgia Review, Virginia Quarterly Review
Diane Roberts – Workshop Faculty, Creative Non-Fiction
DIANE ROBERTS’ latest book, DREAM STATE: Eight Generations of Swamp Lawyers, Conquistadors, Confederate Daughters, Banana Republicans, and other Florida Wildlife, about her politically prominent (and very odd) family has been called “perfect,” as well as “hilarious,” “wild,” “fun,” “strange,”and “splendid.” Roberts’ previous two books — Faulkner and Southern Womanhood and The Myth of Aunt Jemima — are explorations of Southern culture. She is also a journalist, writing op-ed pieces for The New York Times, The New Republic, and The Times of London. She is a political columnist for Tampa Bay Times in Florida and makes documentaries for BBC Radio in London, where she also spends part of the year. She has been a commentator for NPR since 1993 and she writes for the Washington Post. She received her Ph.D. from Oxford University (UK), and is a Distinguished Writer at Florida State University and a Visiting Fellow in Creative Writing at the University of Northumbria in England, specializing in Southern culture.
Ann Fisher-Wirth – Workshop Faculty, Poetry
Ann Fisher-Wirth’s sixth book of poems is The Bones of Winter Birds (Terrapin Books 2019). Ann’s fifth book, Mississippi, is a poetry/photography collaboration with the Delta photographer Maude Schuyler Clay (Wings Press 2018). With Laura-Gray Street, Ann coedited The Ecopoetry Anthology (Trinity UP 2013). She has had residencies at The Mesa Refuge, Djerassi, Hedgebrook, and CAMAC (France). She was 2017 Anne Spencer Poet in Residence at Randolph College, a 2015-2018 Fellow of the Black Earth Institute, and the recipient of senior Fulbright Fellowships to Switzerland and Sweden. She teaches at the University of Mississippi, where she also directs the Environmental Studies program–and she teaches yoga in Oxford, MS.
Wendy Rawlings – Workshop Faculty, Fiction
Wendy Rawlings is the author of a novel, The Agnostics, and a collection of short stories, Come Back Irish. Another collection of stories, Time for Bed, will be published by LSU Press in August 2019. Her fiction and creative nonfiction have appeared in The Atlantic, The Southern Review, Creative Nonfiction, The Kenyon Review, the Pushcart Prize 2016 anthology, and other magazines. She’s a faculty member in the MFA program in creative writing at the University of Alabama.
Sarah Bedingfield – Guest Literary Agent
Sarah has been an agent with Levine Greenberg Rostan since 2016, where she represents high-concept, genre-busting literary novels, domestic and psychological suspense, upmarket, big-hearted family epics, historical fiction, and international, diverse voices. Sarah began her publishing career in trade fiction editorial at Crown and Hogarth. Hailing from North Carolina, Sarah graduated from UNC Chapel Hill with a double major in Psychology and English. She spent her first three years in New York teaching high school English in the Bronx and earning an MS in Education from Hunter College. Her favorite authors include Sarah Waters, Shirley Jackson, Stephen King, Matthew Thomas, Maria Semple, Emily St. John Mandel, Erin Morgenstern, and Victor Hugo.
Melissa Flashman – Guest Literary Agent
A native of Lexington, Kentucky, Melissa Flashman got her first job in publishing working as an assistant in the literary department of ICM before moving to Trident Media Group where she was a literary agent for over ten years before joining Janklow & Nesbit Associates in 2017. Melissa represents award-winning and best-selling fiction and nonfiction, including journalism, science, technology, business/finance/economics, memoir/narrative, essays and cultural criticism. She is drawn to a range of literary and commercial fiction and is particularly excited about stories that touch on the deeper meaning of life, family, identity and love. A good page-turner is always welcome. Melissa’s authors have won numerous awards including the National Book Critic Circle Award, the Rona Jaffe Award, the Hugo Award, n + 1 writer’s fellowship, The Nation’s Ridenhour Prize and the American Book Award among others.
2019 LONGLEAF SCHOLARS AND FELLOWS:
Kara van de Graaf – 2019 Longleaf Fellow in Poetry
Kara van de Graaf is the author of Spitting Image, winner of the Crab Orchard First Book Prize in Poetry (SIU Press, 2018). Individual poems
appear widely in national literary journals, including The Southern Review, AGNI, New England Review, The Gettysburg Review, Alaska
Quarterly Review, and the anthology Best New Poets. Other honors include the Hoepfner Award from Southern Humanities Review, an Academy
of American Poets Prize, a fellowship from Vermont Studio Center, and a Tennessee Williams Scholarship from Sewanee Writers Conference. Kara is co-founder and editor of Lightbox Poetry, an online educational resource for poetry in the classroom (www.lightboxpoetry.com). She serves as Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Utah Valley University and live in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Gabriel Houck – 2019 Longleaf Fellow in Fiction
Gabriel Houck is originally from New Orleans and has earned MFAs from the California Institute of the Arts and the University of Iowa’s Nonfiction Writing Program, and a PhD in creative writing from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he has taught in the English Department since 2016. Houck’s collection, “You or a Loved One,” won the 2017 Orison Fiction Prize, with pieces selected as distinguished stories in the 2017 and 2015 editions of The Best American Short Stories, respectively. His work appears in Glimmer Train, The Sewanee Review, and elsewhere. He lives and teaches in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Barrett Warner – 2019 Longleaf Fellow in CNF
Barrett Warner is the author of two poetry collections, Why Is It So Hard to Kill You? (Somondoco Press, 2016) and My Friend Ken Harvey (Publishing Genius, 2014). His poems, stories, and stock car racing journalism have appeared on paper, newsprint, and online since 1982. Today he reviews books, writes essays, and lectures. Known for witty touches, his recent work appears in Superstition Review, Adroit Journal, Consequence Magazine, Rabbit Catastrophe Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Entropy Magazine, and elsewhere. In 2017, he was given an Individual Artist Award for his farm essays by the State of Maryland and he used the proceeds to move to South Carolina. He was also awarded the Chris Toll Memorial Poetry Prize, the Salamander fiction prize, and the Tucson Festival of Books Rising Star award for the
Juanita Kirton – 2019 Baker Veteran Scholar
Dr. Juanita Kirton earned MFA from Goddard College (2015) in Creative Writing & Poetry and was the recipient of the Goddard College Spirit Scholarship. Juanita is published in several anthologies including, A Journal of Hope and Healing, Caribbean Writer, Chester H. Jones Literary Journal, Clevergirl, Exit 13 Magazine, Goldfinch Literary Magazine, Mom Egg Review, Narrative, Other Voices, Persimmon Tree, Pink Panther Magazine, Rat’s Ass Online Journal, Stone Canoe, and Veterans Voices. Winner of the Sisters in Script self-publishing grant, which resulted in the publication of her “Inner Journey” chapbook, 2009. Her Peace Haiku was selected for Peace Mural in Philadelphia. Juanita is a member of Women Who Write, Inc., International Women’s Writing Guild & Women Reading Aloud workshop series. She is on the
Dr. Kirton served fourteen years in
Stephen Hundley – 2019 University of Mississippi Scholar in Fiction
Stephen Hundley is a former high school science teacher from Savannah, Georgia. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Permafrost, Notre Dame Review, Waxwing, The MacGuffin, Driftwood Press and other journals. He serves as the fiction editor for The Swamp literary magazine and is currently pursuing an MFA at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, where he lives.
Kate Leland – 2019 University of Mississippi Scholar in Poetry
Kate Leland is a poet from Austin, Texas. She is currently an MFA candidate at The University of Mississippi and holds a B.A. in English – Creative Writing from Hendrix College. She works as an associate editor with Sibling Rivalry Press and reader for Yalobusha Review. Her work has appeared in The Hunger and Rust + Moth, and her debut chapbook “I Wore The Only Garden I’ve Ever Grown” was published in January 2017 with Headmistress Press. She lives in Mississippi with one cat and a collection of half-dead houseplants.
The Longleaf Writers Conference is a 501(c)3 non-profit and as such we use personal funds, generous donations, fees, etc., in order to provide our fellowships, scholarships, outreach programs, and generous housing and features to our conference. That said, we always are looking to expand all of our programs. Your donation, no matter how large or how small, will help us to achieve our dreams for the LWC.