2022 Visiting Writers, Faculty, Agents

AIMEE NEZHUKUMATATHIL (neh-ZOO / KOO-mah / tah-TILL) is the author of the New York Times best-selling illustrated collection of nature essays and Kirkus Prize finalist, WORLD OF WONDERS: IN PRAISE OF FIREFLIES, WHALE SHARKS, & OTHER ASTONISHMENTS (2020, Milkweed Editions), which was chosen as Barnes and Noble’s Book of the Year. She has four previous poetry collections: OCEANIC (Copper Canyon Press, 2018), LUCKY FISH (2011), AT THE DRIVE-IN VOLCANO (2007), and MIRACLE FRUIT (2003), the last three from Tupelo Press.  Her most recent chapbook is LACE & PYRITE, a collaboration of epistolary garden poems with the poet Ross Gay. Her writing appears twice in the Best American Poetry Series, The New York Times Magazine, ESPNPloughshares, American Poetry Review, and Tin House. Honors include a poetry fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Pushcart Prize, a Mississippi Arts Council grant, and being named a Guggenheim Fellow in poetry. In 2021, she became the first-ever poetry editor for SIERRA magazine, the story-telling arm of The Sierra Club. She is professor of English and Creative Writing in the University of Mississippi’s MFA program.

MAURICE CARLOS RUFFIN is the author of The Ones Who Don’t Say They Love You, published by One World Random House in August 2021. His first book, We Cast a Shadow, was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, and the PEN America Open Book Prize. It was longlisted for the 2021 DUBLIN Literary Award the Center for Fiction Prize and the Aspen Words Literary Prize. The novel was also a New York Times Editor’s Choice. Ruffin is the winner of several literary prizes, including the Iowa Review Award in fiction and the William Faulkner–William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition Award for Novel-in-Progress. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the LA Times, the Oxford American, Garden & Gun, Kenyon Review, and Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America. A New Orleans native, Ruffin is a professor of Creative Writing at Louisiana State University, and the 2020-2021 John and Renee Grisham Writer-in-Residence at the University of Mississippi.

NICKOLE BROWN received her MFA from the Vermont College, studied literature at Oxford University, and was the editorial assistant for the late Hunter S. Thompson. She worked at Sarabande Books for ten years. Her first collection, Sister, a novel-in-poems, was first published in 2007 by Red Hen Press and a new edition was reissued by Sibling Rivalry Press in 2018. Her second book, a biography-in-poems called Fanny Says, came out from BOA Editions in 2015, and the audio book of that collection became available in 2017. She was an Assistant Professor at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock for four years until she gave up her beloved time in the classroom in hope of writing full time. Currently, she is the Editor for the Marie Alexander Poetry Series and teaches periodically at a number of places, including the Sewanee School of Letters MFA Program, the Great Smokies Writing Program at UNCA, and the Hindman Settlement School. She lives with her wife, poet Jessica Jacobs, in Asheville, NC, where she volunteers at a three different animal sanctuaries. Currently, she’s at work on a bestiary of sorts about these animals, but it won’t consist of the kind of pastorals that always made her (and most of the working-class folks she knows) feel shut out of nature and the writing about it—these poems speak in a queer, Southern-trash-talking kind of way about nature beautiful, but damaged and dangerous. A second chapbook from this project, an essay-in-poems called The Donkey Elegies, was published by Sibling Rivalry in January 2020.

DUSTIN PARSONS is the author of Exploded View: Essays on Fatherhood, with Diagrams (University of Georgia Press 2018). He has an MA from Kansas State University and an MFA from Bowling Green State University. He has previously served as the non-fiction editor of The Mid-American Review. Awards for his writing include an Ohio Arts Grant and a New York Fine Arts grant in creative non-fiction, the American Literary Review Prize in fiction, the fiction prize from The Laurel Review and a “notable” in the Best American Essays. He was awarded a residency fellowship at Wyoming’s Brush Creek Foundation of the Arts. He teaches  creative writing workshops and courses in American literature at University of Mississippi. He lives in Oxford with his wife, the poet Aimee Nezhukumatathil, and their two wily boys. 

JESSICA JACOBS is the author of Take Me with You, Wherever You’re Going (Four Way Books), named one of Library Journal‘s Best Poetry Books of the year, winner of the Devil’s Kitchen Reading Award from Southern Illinois University and the Goldie Award from the Golden Crown Literary Society, and a finalist for the Brockman-Campbell, American Fiction, Eric Hoffer, and Julie Suk Book Awards. Her debut collection, Pelvis with Distance (White Pine Press), won the New Mexico Book Award in Poetry, was an Over the Rainbow selection by the American Library Association and a finalist for the Lambda Literary and Julie Suk Awards. Her chapbook In Whatever Light Left to Us was published by Sibling Rivalry Press.Jacobs holds an M.F.A. from Purdue University, where she served as the Editor-in-Chief of Sycamore Review, and a B.A. from Smith College. Her poetry, essays, and fiction have appeared in publications including Orion, New England Review, Crazyhorse,  and Guernica. An avid long-distance runner, Jessica has worked as a rock climbing instructor, bartender, and professor—leading workshops around the country and teaching for Hendrix College, UNC-Wilmington’s MFA program, and Writing Workshops in Greece, among other programs—and now serves as the Chapbook Editor of Beloit Poetry Journal and the Distinguished Poet of the Western Region for the Gilbert-Chappell Mentorship Series.

KATY SIMPSON SMITH was born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. She received a PhD in history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars. She is the author ofWe Have Raised All of You: Motherhood in the South, 1750-1835, and the novelsThe Story of Land and Sea,Free Men, andThe Everlasting,which theNewYorkTimesnamed among the Top 10HistoricalFictionof 2020. Her writing has also appeared in theNew York Times Book Review, Paris Review, Los Angeles Review of Books, Oxford American,Granta,andLiterary Hub. She lives in New Orleans, and recently served as the Eudora Welty Chair for Southern Literature at Millsaps College.

DAVID JAMES POISSANT is the author of the novel Lake Life (Simon & Schuster, 2020), a New York Times Editors’ Choice selection, Publishers Weekly Summer Read, Atlanta Journal-Constitution Best Southern Book of 2020, and a New York Public Library Book of the Day. His story collection The Heaven of Animals was a winner of the GLCA New Writers Award and a Florida Book Award, a finalist for the L.A. Times Book Prize, and was longlisted for the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize. His stories and essays have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, The Chicago Tribune, The New York Times, One Story, Ploughshares, The Southern Review, and in textbooks and anthologies including New Stories from the South, Best New American Voices, and Best American Experimental Writing. His books are currently in print in seven languages. He teaches in the MFA Program in Creative Writing at the University of Central Florida and lives in Orlando with his wife and daughters.

ANNIE HWANG is a literary agent for Ayesha Pande Literary agency and began her career at Folio Literary Management where she had the pleasure of working with debut and seasoned authors alike. As a former journalist, Annie possesses a keen editorial eye which she brings to her approach to agenting, taking an active role in the careers of her clients. Annie represents voice-driven literary fiction and select nonfiction. In particular, she gravitates toward subversive and irreverent literary fiction and impactful mission-driven narrative nonfiction that grapples with the complexities of our world. A fierce champion of underrepresented voices, Annie is always on the hunt for gifted storytelling that stretches its genre to new heights. @AnnieAHwang

CAROLINE EISENMANN joined the Frances Goldin Literary Agency in 2017 after spending four years at ICM Partners. In adult literary and upmarket fiction, Caroline is particularly seeking novels that engage with social issues, speculative elements (especially those used in the service of an emotional truth), underrepresented voices, stories about obsession, ruthless narrators, and work that centers around intimacy and its discontents. In nonfiction she is drawn to idea-driven work driven by expansive curiosity, especially projects that render the hidden structures of the world more legible. She’s also looking for deeply reported narratives (particularly those that take the reader into the heart of a subculture), literary memoir, cultural criticism, and essay collections. Authors represented by Caroline have appeared on the New York Times Bestseller list and been short or longlisted for the National Book Award in fiction, the National Book Award’s 5 Under 35 Award, the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence, and the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize.

2022 Fellows, Scholars, Visitors

Matt W. Miller’s most recent collection, Tender the River, was published in 2021 by Texas Review Press. He is the author of the collections The Wounded for the Water (Salomon Poetry), Club Icarus, selected by Major Jackson as thewinner of the 2012 Vassar Miller Poetry Prize and Cameo Diner: Poems. He has published poems and essays in Greensboro Review, Harvard Review, 32 Poems, Narrative Magazine, Notre Dame Review, Adroit Journal, Southwest Review, and crazyhorse,among other journals. Winner of the River Styx Microbrew/Microfiction Prize and Iron Horse Review’s Trifecta Poetry Prize, he is a former Wallace Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford University and a Walter E. Dakin Fellow in Poetry at the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. He teaches English at Phillips Exeter Academy and lives with his family in coastal New Hampshire.

Marie Myung-Ok Lee’s novel, The Evening Hero, is forthcoming with Simon & Schuster in May 2022. She is also the author of the first contemporary-set Asian American young adult novel, Finding My Voice, which has just been re-released by Soho Press. Her forthcoming YA, Hurt You, a contemporary retelling of Of Mice and Men, will be published in 2023. Her stories and essays have been published in The Atlantic, The New York Times, Slate, Salon, Guernica, The Paris Review, The Guardian, Joyland, The Kenyon Review, The Nation, and the New York Times Book Review, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and forthcoming in The Yale Review and Smithsonian Magazine. Lee is a cofounder and former board president of the Asian American Writers’ Workshop and teaches fiction at Columbia where she is Writer in Residence.

Melanie Farmer is a Central Florida writer and educator who holds an MFA in creative nonfiction from the University of Central Florida. She is the winner of a 2019 Intro Journals Award from the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP), and is the first winner of the Hurston/Wright Foundation’s Crossover Award in literary nonfiction. Currently, you can find her writing in The Tampa Review and Split Lip Magazine. Her award-winning essay “Rolling: A Ladies’ Guide to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu” will be published in chapbook form by Burrow Press in summer of 2022.

Emily Lake Hansen (she/her) is the author of Home and Other Duty Stations (Kelsay Books) and the chapbook The Way the Body Had to Travel (dancing girl press). Her poetry has appeared in 32 Poems, Hobart, Up the Staircase Quarterly, Atticus Review, The Shore, and Glass: A Journal of Poetry among others. Her second collection connected to nowhere was a semifinalist in Sundress Publications’ 2021 open reading period. Emily lives with her family in Atlanta where she is a PhD student at Georgia State University and an instructor of English at Agnes Scott College.

Jeffrey Voccola is the winner of the 2018 Blue Mountain Novel Award for his book, Kings Row (Hidden River, 2020). His stories have appeared in The Woven Tale Press2 Bridges Review, The Fox Chase Review, The Cabinet, Noctua Review, Cottonwood, Beacon Street Review, Folio, and others. His essays have been published in Inside Sources, The Las Vegas Sun, and The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Jeffrey holds a MFA in Fiction from Emerson College and teaches creative and professional writing at Kutztown University. He lives in Pennsylvania and New York.

Jacob Frazier is studying English Literature and Philosophy. He is originally from Gadsden, Alabama, and currently lives in Birmingham but intends to move out of state for graduate school. He is a second-year student in the University Honors Program and attended the Ada Long Writing Workshop in the past. Jacob loves to cook, go running, and play Dungeons and Dragons with his friends in his free time.

 Sarah Matsui has been featured in NPR Code Switch, Jacobin Magazine, and Rethinking Schools Magazine’s “Our Picks for Books for Social Justice Teaching: Policy.” Her latest essay was selected as the winner of the 2021 Sewanee Review Nonfiction Contest. She is the recipient of awards and fellowships from Tin House, Lighthouse, the San Francisco Arts Commission, Gotham Writers, and Kearny Street Workshop. She is currently working on her first novel.

LaToya Faulk is a writer from Saginaw, Michigan. Her work has been published in Scalawag,Southwest Review,Amherst College’s The Common, and Splinter Magazine’s Think Local series. Her play Mama’s Flowerbed will premiere at Theatre Oxford in February of 2022. She currently lives with her two children in Oxford, Mississippi, where she is at work on a novel titled The Daughters of Remington Taylor. 

Shannon Bradt was born and raised in Birmingham, AL. She went to high school at the Alabama School of Fine Arts, where she specialized in creative writing. She is now a senior at UAB majoring in English and Philosophy.

Amber Adams is a poet and counselor living in Boulder, Colorado. She received her MA in Literary Studies from the University of Denver, and her MA in Counseling from Regis University. Her work has appeared in NarrativeWitness MagazineThe Montreal Prize AnthologyBirmingham Poetry ReviewWar Literature and the Arts Journal, and elsewhere. Her debut collection, Becoming Ribbons (forthcoming from Unicorn Press in the fall of 2022), was a finalist in the X.J. Kennedy Prize, Autumn House Press Full-Length Contest, Wheelbarrow Books Poetry Prize, Airlie Prize, and a semifinalist in the Lexi Rudnitsky First Book Prize. She served in the United States Army Reserves and completed one tour of duty under Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Lenna Mendoza is a poet and MFA candidate at the University of Mississippi. She received a B.A. in English from Rice University, where she was a recipient of the Williams Prize in poetry. Her work has previously appeared in Screen Door Review, Speculative City, and plain china. Find her work at

 Hua Xi is a writer and artist. They are mostly interested in dreams, memories, the subconsciousness, and other examinations of the self. Their poems have appeared in The New Republic, The Nation and American Poetry Review. They previously won the Boston Review Poetry Contest. More importantly, they love the snow. They love to lie on their bed. They love to look out the window and do nothing. They are currently writing a little series of dream poems that may or may not become a chapbook. They are currently reading “The Years, Months, Days” by Yan Lianke. They are currently eating a slice of yogurt cake. Reach them on twitter @huaxixyz and on instagram @huaxixyz 

2021 Visiting Writers, Faculty, Agents

2020 (Cancelled for COVID, but authors invited for future dates) Visiting Writers, Faculty, Agents

Kiese Laymon

Caitlin Horrocks

Julianna Baggott

Ravi Howard

Rose McLarney

2019 Visiting Writers, Faculty, Agents

Brian Turner

Diane Roberts

Wendy Rawlings

Ann Fisher-Wirth

Melissa Flashman

Sarah Bedingfield

2019 Fellows and Scholars and Guests

Juanita Kirton

Kara van de Graaf

Gabriel Houck

Barrett Warner

Kate Leland

Stephen Hundley

Snowden Wright

2017 Visiting Writers, Faculty, Agents

Ned Stuckey-French

Duvall Osteen

Melissa Ginsburg

2017 Fellows and Scholars

Jennifer Key

Elsa Nekola

2016 Visiting Writers, Faculty, Agents

Dana Murphy

Melissa Flashman

2015 Visiting Writer, Faculty, Agents

Eliza Borne

2015 Fellows and Scholars

Gothataone Moeng

Maggie Woodward

2014 Visiting Writer, Faculty, Agents

Seth Brady Tucker & Matt Bondurant

2014 Fellows and Scholars

Blake Sanz

Rose Bunch

Kim O’Connor

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! For direct bank transfers without Paypal fees, simply email us at and we will arrange it!