Flannery O'Connor Memorial Lecture and Reading Series

2017: Peggy Shumaker

Peggy Shumaker is the Rasmuson Foundation's Distinguished Artist for 2014. She is also the Artsmith Artist of the Year for 2014.  She is the author of seven books of poetry, most recently Toucan Nest: Poems of Costa Rica.  Her lyrical memoir is Just Breathe Normally. Professor emerita at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Shumaker teaches in the Rainier Writing Workshop. She is founding editor of Boreal Books, publisher of fine art and literature from Alaska.  She edits the Alaska Literary Series at University of Alaska Press.  Peggy Shumaker was Alaska State Writer Laureate for 2010-2012.

Article: “Peculiar Homecomings,” forthcoming in Volume 16

2016: Judson Mitcham

The poetry and fiction of Judson Mitcham have been published widely in literary journals, including Poetry, Harper’s, Georgia Review, Hudson Review, and Southern Review. He has been the recipient of an NEA Fellowship in Creative Writing as well as a Pushcart Prize. He is the only writer to win the Townsend Prize for Fiction twice - for his novels The Sweet Everlasting and Sabbath Creek. His most recent book is A Little Salvation: Poems Old and New, published by the University of Georgia Press. Mitcham is the current Poet Laureate of Georgia. In 2013 he was inducted into the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame. Mitcham served as a Visiting Writer at Georgia College for several semesters between 2008 and 2011.

2015: Teresa Caruso

Teresa Caruso is Senior Lecturer in English at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College. She completed her doctoral work on O’Connor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and she edited "On the subject of the feminist business": Re-Reading Flannery O’Connor, a collection of feminist essays on O’Connor.  

2014: David Huddle

David Huddle’s fiction, poetry, and essays appear in The American Scholar, Esquire, Appalachian Heritage, The New Yorker, Harper’s, Poetry, Story, Shenandoah, Agni, The Southern Review, and The Georgia Review. In 2012 his novel Nothing Can Make Me Do This won the Library of Virginia Award for Fiction, and his collection Black Snake at the Family Reunion won the PEN New England Award for Poetry. His novel The Faulkes Chronicle (Tupelo) appeared in 2014.

Article: “The Singular Voice of Flannery O’Connor” in Volume 13

2013: Patrick Samway, S.J.

Patrick Samway, S.J., Professor Emeritus of English at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, received his PhD in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has edited or co-edited eight books on southern literature and is the author of three books, including Walker Percy: A Life, which was selected by the New York Times Book Review as a "notable book" for 1997.

2012: Robert Donahoo

Robert Donahoo is Professor of English at Sam Houston State University. He is the co-editor of the essay collection Flannery O'Connor in the Age of Terrorism: Essays on Violence and Grace (Tennessee). He has published a number of essays on O'Connor as well as articles on the American dramatist Horton Foote, Tolstoy's novel Resurrection, Larry Brown's novel Dirty Work, and American science fiction.  A former president of the Flannery O'Connor Society and Editor of the Society's newsletter, Cheers!, he is working on several O'Connor projects and a new essay on Horton Foote's play The Young Man from Atlanta.

Article: "Reconsidering Flannery O’Connor," Special Feature Guest Editor with Introduction in Volume 13

2011: Gary Ciuba

Gary M. Ciuba, Professor of English at Kent State University, is the author of Desire, Violence, and Divinity in Modern Southern Fiction and Walker Percy: Book of Revelations (LSU). His articles on the literature of the US South have appeared in essay collections (most recently Dark Faith: New Essays on Flannery O'Connor's The Violent Bear It Away) and in such publications as African American Review, American Literature, Flannery O’Connor Review, Mississippi Quarterly, South Atlantic Review, and Southern Quarterly

Article: "Exploring the Victim and Victimizing the Exposé: Persecution and Parody in O'Connor's 'The Partridge Festival'" in Volume 13

2010: R. T. Smith

R. T. Smith is Writer-in-Residence at Washington and Lee University, where he is in his twentieth year of editing Shenandoah (now shenandoahliterary.org).  His most recent book of poems is In the Night Orchard: New and Selected Poems (Texas Review Press).  In 2013 he received the Weinstein Prize in Poetry from the Library of Virginia.  His next collection will be a collection of flash fictions entitled Chinquapins.

Article: "Much Mischief Is Divinest Sense: My Flannery Visitation" in Volume 13

2009: Andrea Hollander

Andrea Hollander is the author of four poetry collections, including House Without a Dreamer (Storyline Press 1993), which won the Nicolas Roerich Poetry Prize. She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Arkansas Arts Council, and the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals, including Poetry, Georgia Review, New England Review, and Kenyon Review.

Article: "Keeping Our Mouths Shut: A Poet Under the Influence" in Volume 8

2008: Allan Gurganus

Alan Gurganus's, books include White People and Oldest Confederate Widow Tells All. Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, Gurganus is a Guggenheim Fellow and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Adaptations of his fiction have earned four Emmys.

2007: Evelyn C. White

Evelyn C. White is the author of Every Goodbye Ain’t Gone: A Photo Narrative of Black Heritage on Salt Spring Island (Dancing Crow Press). She is also the author of the acclaimed biography Alice Walker: A Life (WW Norton) and Chain Chain Change: For Black Women in Abusive Relationships (Seal Press). She is the editor of The Black Women’s Health Book: Speaking For Ourselves (Seal Press), and a co-author of the photography book The African Americans (Viking Penguin).  As a former reporter for The San Francisco Chronicle, her articles, essays and reviews have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Arizona Republic, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Seattle Times, and Essence, Canadian Immigrant, and Smithsonian magazines.

Article: "Not Deferential to White People: Alice Walker, Flannery O'Connor, and the Art of Biography" in Volume 6

2006: Virginia Spencer Carr

Virginia Spencer Carr was a distinguished literary scholar who wrote the definitive biography of Georgia author Carson McCullers (Lonely Hunter) and notable biographies of American writers John Dos Passos and Paul Bowles. She was formerly Chair of the English Department at Georgia State University and, after her retirement in 2003, emerita distinguished professor.

2005: Jo McDougall

Jo McDougall has published five books of poetry and a memoir, Daddy's Money. The University of Arkansas Press published her collected poems, In the Home of the Famous Dead, in 2015. A book of new poems is slated for publication in 2016 by Tavern Books. She has received awards from the Readers Digest/DeWitt Wallace Foundation, the Academy of American Poets, the Arkansas Arts Council, and the Porter Prize Foundation of Arkansas as well as multiple fellowships from the MacDowell Colony. She has been inducted into the Arkansas Writers Hall of Fame. Co-director of the creative writing program at Pittsburg State University, she lived for many years in the Midwest. A native of the Arkansas delta, she now resides in Little Rock. Her memoir, Daddy’s Money: A Memoir of Farm and Family, focuses on growing up on a rice farm in the Arkansas delta.

Article: "In the Land of Onion Sets: A Poet Pays Tribute to the Influence of Flannery O'Connor" in Volume 4

2004: Robert H. Brinkmeyer Jr.

Robert H. Brinkmeyer Jr. is professor and chair of the Department of English at the University of Arkansas. His books include Katherine Anne Porter's Artistic Development: Primitivism, Traditionalism, and Totalitarianism; The Art and Vision of Flannery O'Connor; and Three Catholic Writers of the Modern South.

Article: "Taking It to the Streets: Flannery O'Connor, Prophecy, and the Civil Rights Movement" in Volume 4

Grants: almost annually (2003-14, 2016-17) from Arts Unlimited; for 2007 from Multiculturalism across the Curriculum Mini-Grants committee; for 2015 and 2011 from GCSU.