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 TimesPublishers 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.  

Rose McLarney — Poetry Faculty

Rose McLarney’s collections of poems are Forage and Its Day Being Gone, both from Penguin Poets, as well as The Always Broken Plates of Mountains, published by Four Way Books. She is co-editor of A Literary Field Guide to Southern Appalachia, from University of Georgia Press, and the journal Southern Humanities Review.  Rose has been awarded fellowships by the MacDowell Colony and Bread Loaf and Sewanee Writers’ Conferences; served as Dartmouth Poet in Residence at the Frost Place; and is winner of the National Poetry Series, the Chaffin Award for Achievement in Appalachian Writing, and the Fellowship of Southern Writers’ New Writing Award for Poetry, among other prizes. Her work has appeared in publications including The Kenyon Review, The Southern Review, New England Review, Prairie Schooner, Missouri Review, and The Oxford American. Rose earned her MFA from Warren Wilson’s MFA Program for Writers. Currently, she is Associate Professor of Creative Writing at Auburn University.

Photo Nicole McConville Photography

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 YorkerThe Best American Short Stories, The PEN/O. Henry Prize StoriesThe 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 TimesMassachusetts 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 (genre/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 — Poetry Faculty

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.

Jamie Carr — Agent, The Book Group

Jamie Carr joined The Book Group in January 2020 as an agent. Prior, she worked in the literary department of William Morris Endeavor for almost six years. Born and raised in Lower Manhattan, she has an MFA in fiction writing and began her career in the books department of Tin House. Most interested in adult literary and upmarket commercial fiction and narrative nonfiction, she is drawn to writing that is highly transporting and that seeks to disrupt or reframe what appears to be known. 

Alexa Stark — Agent, Trident Media

Raised in New York City, Alexa earned her B.A. in Comparative Literature and Society at Columbia University. Before joining Trident, she worked at PEN American Center and Curtis Brown. Alexa represents a range of literary and upmarket fiction as well as select nonfiction. She is particularly drawn to literary debuts with a unique voice and perspective, and fiction that delves into the surreal. On the nonfiction side, she is drawn to narrative nonfiction, cultural criticism, voice-driven essay collections, popular science, psychology, and women’s issues. She lives in Brooklyn.

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 (PhD, 2012), and teaches poetry and fiction workshops at the Lighthouse Writer’s Workshop in Denver. He is an associate teaching professor at the Colorado School of Mines, is originally from Wyoming, and once served as an Army 82nd Airborne Division paratrooper.

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.


Anne Elliott — 2020 Fellow in Fiction

Anne Elliott is the author of The Artstars: Stories (Blue Light Books / Indiana University Press, 2019) and The Beginning of the End of the Beginning (Ploughshares Solos, 2014). Her short stories can be found in A Public Space, Crab Orchard Review, Witness, Hobart, Bellevue Literary Review, Fifth Wednesday Journal, Fugue, and elsewhere.  Elliott is a veteran of the New York spoken word circuit, with stage credits including The Whitney Museum, Lincoln Center, PS122, and Woodstock ’94. She lives in Portland, Maine. Learn more at http://www.anneelliottstories.com.

Tanya Grae — 2020 Fellow in Poetry

Tanya Grae is the author of Undoll (2019), published by YesYes Books. Her poems and essays have appeared in Best New Poets, American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, AGNI, Prairie Schooner, Missouri Review, New Ohio Review, New South, Massachusetts Review, and many other journals. Her awards include the Edward H. and Marie C. Kingsbury Fellowship in creative writing, two Academy of American Poets Prizes, and the New Orleans Literary Festival Tennessee Williams Poetry Prize. She earned her MFA in both poetry and fiction from Bennington College and is currently a PhD candidate in poetry and creative nonfiction at Florida State University.

Jenny Molberg — 2020 Fellow

Jenny Molberg is the author of Marvels of the Invisible (winner of the Berkshire Prize, Tupelo Press, 2017) and Refusal (LSU Press, 2020). She is the recipient of a 2019-2020 Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as scholarships and fellowships from the Sewanee Writers Conference, Vermont Studio Center, and the CD Wright conference. Her work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Ploughshares, Gulf Coast, Tupelo Quarterly, The Missouri Review, and other publications.  She teaches creative writing at the University of Central Missouri, where she directs Pleiades Press and edits Pleiades magazine. Find her online at jennymolberg.com.

Nathaniel Blaesing — 2020 Celia Baker Veteran Scholar

Upon redeployment to New Orleans after a year of flying helicopters in Iraq, Nathaniel evacuated survivors from the wake of Hurricane Katrina. These are the subjects of a recently completed memoir. As a transgender writer he/she has received fellowships or scholarships from Lighthouse Writers Workshop, the Writers Guild Foundation, Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP), and Community of Writers at Squaw Valley. Nathaniel has been published in The Southeast Review, Midwestern Gothic, and Negative Capability. Currently, an MFA candidate at Bennington College in both nonfiction and fiction, Nathaniel is learning to piece a life together with a young son in the tranquil city of Iowa City, Iowa.

Noel Quiñones — 2020 University of Mississippi Scholar in Poetry

Noel Quiñones is a Puerto Rican writer, performer, and community organizer born and raised in the Bronx. As a writer, he’s received fellowships from Poets House, the Poetry Foundation, CantoMundo, Candor Arts, and SAFTA (Sundress Academy for the Arts). His work has been published in Kweli Journal, Rattle, Hot Metal Bridge, and the Latin American Review. As a performer, he’s featured at Lincoln Center, Harvard University, BAM, the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, and the Honolulu Museum of Art to name a few. Founder of Project X, a Bronx-based arts organization, and co-organizer of #PoetsforPuertoRico, Quiñones was named one of New York State’s “40 Under 40 Rising Latino Stars” by The Hispanic Coalition. He is currently an MFA candidate at the University of Mississippi. Follow him at noelpquinones.com or online @noelpquinones.

Chris Morris — 2020 University of Mississippi Scholar in Fiction

Chris Morris is a fiction writer from Waterford, Connecticut. He holds a B.A. in English and a B.A. in history from Eastern Connecticut State University, served as the editorial assistant at the award-winning indie publisher Elephant Rock Books for the past three years, and is currently a reader for the Yalobusha Review. He now lives in Oxford, Mississippi, where he is pursuing an MFA at the University of Mississippi.

Check out what you missed in 2019!

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.