Tom Franklin is the author of the story collection, Poachers, and the novels Smonk and Hell at the Breech. He is originally from southwest Alabama. As an undergraduate at the University of South Alabama, Franklin worked as a heavy equipment operator at a sandblasting grit factory, a construction inspector in a chemical plant, a clerk at a hospital morgue and at hazardous waste clean-up sites. Franklin earned his MFA at the University of Arkansas and now teaches at Ole Miss. He has been awarded several fellowships, including a Guggenheim. Of Franklin's prize-winning story "Poachers," Philip Roth has written, "I'm reminded, by the evocative strength of the prose and the relentlessness of the imagination, of Faulkner . . . ." Franklin's new novel, Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter, is due in October.