Amy Bloom is the author of the bestselling novel Away, and a teacher at Yale University. Originally trained as a social worker and still a practicing psychotherapist, she has published novels and two collections of short stories, and has written for both the New Yorker and the New York Times Magazine. She was also the creator and lead writer for the Lifetime television series State of Mind. Nominated for both the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award, Bloom's stories have appeared in Best American Short Stories and Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards.
Richard Ford is a Pulitzer Prize-winning short story writer and novelist from Jackson, Mississippi. He is best known for his novel The Sportswriter and the follow-up novels, Independence Day and The Lay of the Land, as well as his critically acclaimed short story collections Rock Springs and A Multitude of Sins. Ford's Independence Day was the first novel ever to be awarded both the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.
Jonathan Holloway is a professor of History, African American Studies, and American Studies at Yale University, where he received his Ph.D. An author and an editor, Holloway released his first book Confronting the Veil: Abram Harris Jr., E. Franklin Frazier, and Ralph Bunche, 1919-1941 in 2002. Recently, he co-edited Black Scholars on the Line: Race, Social Science, and American Thought in the 20th Century. Holloway is currently writing a new book, entitled Jim Crow Wisdom: Memory, Identity, and Politics in Black America, 1941-2000.
One of the foremost authors of western literature, Elmer Kelton has written over 40 novels, including The Time it Never Rained, and The Good Old Boys, which was adapted into television movie starring Tommy Lee Jones. His acclaimed novels have won four Western Heritage Awards and seven Spur Awards. Kelton also received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Cowboy Symposium in Lubbock, Texas, and the first Lone Star Award from the Larry McMurtry Center for Arts and Humanities. In addition to his writing, Kelton worked as a journalist and newspaper editor before retiring in 1990.
A native of New York, James McBride is an acclaimed writer and musician. McBride was a tenor saxophonist and sideman for jazz legend Jimmy Scott, and has written songs for luminaries such as Anita Baker and Gary Burton. As a journalist, McBride has written for The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, and People Magazine, among others. His books include the award-winning memoir, The Color of Water, and the novel and screenplay for Miracle at St. Anna, directed by Spike Lee.
Marilyn Nelson is an American poet and author. Her acclaimed works include Magnificat, The Homeplace, and The Fields of Praise: New and Selected Poems, which was nominated for the National Book Award in 1997. Nelson has also written the children's book, Cat Walked through the Casserole and Other Poems for Children, and translated Halfdan Rasmussen's Hundreds of Hens and Other Poems for Children. Nelson is the recipient of the Pushcart Prize, two creative writing fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Fulbright Teaching Fellowship, and the 1990 Connecticut Arts Award.
Reynolds Price is a leading American novelist, poet and essayist from Macon, North Carolina. Price's books include Clear Pictures, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, The Tongues of Angels, The Great Circle, and Feasting the Heart, which was broadcast to great acclaim on NPR's All Things Considered. The winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award and the William Faulkner Foundation Award, Reynolds Price is currently the James B. Duke Professor of English at Duke University.
The premier oral historian of our time, Studs Terkel got his start by working on radio scripts for the Writers' Project in Chicago. Blacklisted during the 1950s for his social activism, Terkel soon became one of the premiere radio personalities, interviewing the full range of musicians, authors, and citizens over the last four decades. Terkel went on to win the Pulitzer Prize for Hard Times: An Oral History of the Great Depression, and his other oral histories include Working and The Good War: An Oral History of World War II.
Pioneering folklorist and activist Stetson Kennedy joined the Florida Writers Project when he was just 21 and was very quickly put in charge of the Project's folklore and oral history work. While on the Project, he learned how to document folklore from author Zora Neale Hurston, who recorded some of the best material for the Florida Project. His work with the Project emboldened Kennedy and influenced his social activism later in life. During the 1940s, he infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan, testified against its leaders and published a book exposing their secrets called The Klan Unmasked. Living today in Florida, Kennedy still writes often and speaks out against injustice as vigorously as ever.
Professor of History at Rice University, Douglas Brinkley is one of the country's premiere historians. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Great Deluge, as well as biographies of Dean Acheson, Jimmy Carter, Rosa Parks, and Gerald Ford. Brinkley also edited The American Heritage History of the United States, and has advised or appeared in several film documentaries on American history.
Author of the PEN/Faulkner Award-winning novel The Chaneysville Incident, David Bradley is the head of the creative writing program at University of Oregon. Bradley has also written numerous nonfiction essays and articles, including the introduction to a reprinting of Richard Wright's 12 Million Black Voices, and has been the recipient of Guggenheim and NEA fellowships.
Maryemma Graham is one of the leading experts on African-American literature, particularly Margaret Walker and Richard Wright. Author of Teaching African American Literature, Conversations with Ralph Ellison and a forthcoming biography of Margaret Walker, Graham previously the W.E.B. Du Bois Fellow at Harvard University, and is currently a Professor of English at Kansas State University.
Dagoberto Gilb is the bestselling novelist and author of The Flowers, The Magic of Blood, and Woodcuts of Women. Known for capturing the voice of the 'common man,' Gilb is the recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship and the Texas Book Festival's Award for Literary Achievement, and has been recognized by the Library of Congress Archive of Hispanic Literature on Tape.
An Associate Professor in Indiana University's Department of Anthropology, Mindy Morgan is a leading export on Native American culture and languages, and how language is a symbol of cultural persistence and tribal identity within the United States. Morgan has researched the various Writers' Project programs to help preserve Indian culture and language, including the Assinboine in Montana and the Oneida in Wisconsin.
Loretta Metoxen is the Oneida Tribal Historian and has written several significant works about the tribe's culture and history, including Sagole, A Greeting From the Oneida's, and The Law of the Land; Treaties Then and Their Impact Now. Metoxen is also an active member of the Eisenhower Foundation and a longtime member of the National Congress of American Indians.