Skip to content
Department of Literature and Language  

Department News

Associate Professor Lori Horvitz was richly honored at the May, 2015, faculty meeting, being named the 2014-15 recipient of the Teaching Excellence in University Programs Award and the 2014-15 Scholarly and Creative Achievement Award. Congratulations!
Graduating Senior Runda Alamour was named a 2015 Newman Civic Fellow by the national Campus Compact organization, one of only three students in North Carolina at 201 nationwide to receive this honor.  She was celebrated for her active citizenship, support of public education, and statewide leadership of the Student North Carolina Assocation of Educators. Congratulations to Runda! Further information here.
Mesha Maren, 2012 graduate of the department, is the winner of the 2015 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize for her short story “Chokedamp.” She will receive $1,000 and possible publication in The Thomas Wolfe Review.

Final Judge Lee Smith, a 2008 inductee of the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame, chose Maren’s story from more than 220 entries—a record number.

“It is very realistic, a big story,” Lee said. “I was impressed by the complexity of theme, situation, and the brothers’ relationship; the narrative voice rang true, and the writing was wonderful throughout.”

Mesha Maren is a fiction writer whose work appears in Tin House, The Oxford American, Hobart, The Barcelona Review, and Forty Stories: New Writing from Harper Perennial. She is the recipient of a 2014 Elizabeth George Foundation Grant, an Appalachian Writing Fellowship from LMU University, and a residency fellowship from the Ucross Foundation.
David Hopes's play Washington Place has been chosen as one of the 5 MainStage plays for the 2015 Great Plains Theatre Conference, May 23-30 in Omaha, Nebraska. These five were selected from 578 scripts!
Alumna Sarah Addison Allen has been chosen as the 2015 Goodman Endowed Artist.  She will speak on campus on March 21, 2015, at 2:30, in the Moutain View Room of the Sherrill Center.  Her new novel, First Frost, was published in January.
Lori Horvitz's book, The Girls of Usually, was published in January of 2015, by the Truman State University Press. It consists of autobiographical essays; one reviewer sums them up as "deeply intimate and wickedly funny."

David Hopes's play, The Mermaid, will be given a staged reading at The Arts Center in Carrboro, March 29.  The Mermaid "postulates the discovery, in the attic of an ancient vicarage, of a previously unknown play by William Shakespeare."
Alumna Beverly Knupp Rudolph was back for Homecoming.  She is a middle school principal in the triangle and a new member of UNC Asheville's National Alumni Board.
Alumnus Dalton Day (2014) has recently been accepted for graduate work at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
jcrop previewThe Department and University lost a wonderful colleague when Cindy Ho died,September 26.  Cindy retired 18 months ago and had been facing serious illness with grace and dignity. 
Assistant Professor Evan Gurney is enjoying both his new son Owen and some good professional news. His dissertation won the UNC English Dept's MacMillan Prize for Best Dissertation; and he was recently notified that an article he wrote after participating in a seminar last summer at the Folger Shakespeare Library has been accepted for publication in Studies in Philology.
The summer saw three additions to the department's extended family: Owen, second son born to Evan Gurney and wife Rebecca; Mabel, second child and first daughter born to Amanda Wray and husband Andy; and Faith, first child born to Erica Abrams Locklear and husband Mark.  They are all wonderful.
                                      left to right: Faith, Mabel, Owen
2012 graduate Mesha Maren recently received a signal honor:She is the winner of the 2014 Jean Ritchie Fellowship in Appalachian Writing, awarded by Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) in Harrogate, Tennessee. The prize is $1,500 and is awarded to an Appalachian writer who shows overwhelming promise in the continuation of great writing in the region.
Mesha’s fiction has been anthologized in Forty Stories: New Writing from Harper Perennial and published in journals such as The Oxford American, Tin House, The Barcelona Review, Hobart and Night Train. Her writing has previously received accolades such as first place in the Sherwood Anderson Short Story Contest, winner of the Lex Allen Literary Festival Fiction Contest, The Thomas Wolfe Award, the Press 53 Award and the James Hurst Prize for Fiction.  She has been the recipient of grants from the Barbara Deming Fund for Women Writers and the Elizabeth George Foundation and a fellowship from the Ucross Foundation.  She is currently working on editing a manuscript of linked short stories and drafting her first novel. Her winning story was described as "a vigorous, disquieting tale fo the burdens of history and nature, both inner and outer." For more on the award follow this link.
Merritt Moseley gave keynote addresses at two conferences held in Romania in late May and early June: one at Lucien Blaga University in Sibiu, the other at the University of Bucharest.  Both speeches were on the academic novel.

Graduation Day, May 2014, saw a number of Literature and Language seniors receiving departmental distinction and all-university honors.  Dr. Peter Caulfield was also named the 2014 winner of the Distinguished Teaching Award, UNC 
Asheville's longest-established recognition of superlative teaching. 
Merritt Moseley's book, Pat Barker: A Reader's Guide to Essential Criticism, has been published by Palgrave Macmillan publishers in the UK.
David Hopes's one-act play "Alfie and Greta" opened on February 13 in Pensacola, Florida at the "Short Attention Span Theatre" program of six one-act plays at Pensacola Little Theatre, and runs through February 22.
Sarah Addison Allen's latest novel, her fifth, was published in January, 2014.  Called Lost Lake, it is published by St. Martin's Press.
Zac Hegwood, named a UNC Asheville Undergraduate Research Scholar, earned a $400 travel grant from the Undergraduate Research Program Advisory Council in order to conduct interview research for his journal article and UGR presentation titled: "Emotions of Bioshock: Video Games as Interactive Fiction."
Last summer (2013) Jessica Lewis was selected for a USDA fellowship with the "Keeping the Value with the Farm: Developing Local Food Messaging that Works"  grant managed by Leah Greden Mathews in Economics. Jessica conducted archival research at Appalachian State University's W.L. Eury Appalachian Collection and produced a substantial research paper that explores early twentieth century representations Appalachian food, as well as more contemporary representations. Jessica is publishing part of her findings in the UNC Asheville Journal of Undergraduate Research, presenting on those findings at this spring's upcoming Undergraduate Research Symposium, presenting a different portion of her research at the Appalachian Studies Association conference this March at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia (funded by the Undergraduate Research Studies office), and submitting an extended version of her essay to a foodways journal for publication consideration. You can learn more about Jessica's work here.
Zac Hegwood, named a UNC Asheville Undergraduate Research Scholar, earned a $400 travel grant from the Undergraduate Research Program Advisory Council in order to conduct interview research for his journal article and UGR presentation titled: "Emotions of Bioshock: Video Games as Interactive Fiction."

Ashley Heger, an interdisciplinary degree candidate, is conducting undergraduate research under the direction of Dr. Amanda Wray. Heger's project--"Oral History of Youth Development in Public Housing"--studies how and why young people make use of (or don't) the enrichment programs and classes organized within several public housing communities in Asheville, NC. Her research has important implications for building more sustainable, youth-driven, and youth-centered development programs within public housing in an effort to intervene in cycles of poverty, racism, and gender discrimination.

Professors Amanda Wray and Patrick Bahls (from mathematics and honors) collaborated on an article "LaTeXnics: The Effect of Specialized Typesetting Software on STEP Students' Composition Processes," which will be published in 2014 with the interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed journal Computers and Composition.

Corey McClintock was awarded Undergraduate Research funds to travel to Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia In March of 2014 to present a paper on Fred Chappell's fiction at the Appalachian Studies Association conference.

Recent Graduate Jake Alspaugh was awarded Undergraduate Research funds to travel to Atlanta in November of 2013  to present a paper on Carson McCullers' The Ballad of the Sad Cafe at the South Atlantic Modern Language Association conference. Jake also graduated with University Research Scholar designation.

Among the special events during the 2013-2014 academic year have been visits by authors Joseph Bates and (upcoming) Kelcey Parker, both sponsored and hosted by Sigma Tau Delta, the English honorary society.
Kirk Boyle's edited collection, The Great Recession in Fiction, Film, and Television: Twenty-First-Century Bust Culture, was published in October by Lexington Books.  His contribution to The Zizek Dictionary, "Historicism/Historicity," will appear in that volume in February from Acumen Publishing.  
Mesha Maren (class of 2012) received an emerging writer's grant from the Elizabeth George Foundation.  She is in her second year at Queens University of Charlotte's MFA program.
Merritt Moseley's piece called "Blogs, Spurious and Routine," appeared in The Fortnightly Review in November, 2013. It is a review/meditation on three academic novels by Lars Iyer, seen through the lens of Daily Rituals by 2002 graduate Mason Currey.
David Hopes's short story, "Saturdays He Drove the Ford Pick-up," has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. The story appeared in Ruminate magazine, a quarterly literary arts magazine described as "chewing on life, faith, and art." The Pushcart Prizes are for "the best of the small presses" and have been adjudicated, and published, since 1976. The story won first place in the William Van Dyke Short Story Prizes.

Matt Owens, a 2012 graduate currently working on an MFA at the University of Iowa, has an essay in the Oxford American, published under the name Randall O'Wain.  Here's the link.

Caroline Ketcham, one of the Topp/Grillot winners in poetry, is an intern at the new Great Smokies Review, a biannual online literary magazine produced by the Great Smokies Writing Program.  Caroline has a piece in the spring issue, called "Writing Home."

Literature Alumnus Mason Currey (class of 2002) has recently published his first book,Daily Rituals: How Artists Work.  Slate has been running selections from it on a daily basis.

Erica Abrams Locklear received the university award for Scholarly or Creative Activity in the May
faculty meeting, for her many articles, conference presentations, and her book,
Negotiating a Perilous Empowerment
The Literature Department named the following award-winners for spring of 2013:
Gerald Gullickson for outstanding rising seniors: Andrew Murrow Benbow and William Wade Donovan
Virginia Bryan Award for best senior papers: Laura Carter and Sarah Holder.
UNCA creative writing student Dalton Day will be bringing out his first book of poetry, Supernova Factory, while still an undergraduate. Supernova Factory is published by On the Cusp Press, and is already available for Internet ordering.
We would like to invite you to a reading by Mr Day, and a celebration of this book at APOTHECARY, in the YMI on Eagle Street, on May 1 at 7 PM. Dalton will read from his book, and the public will get an opportunity to tour Asheville’s newest venue for the literary arts.
Creative Writing Awards, both those chosen by the Creative Writing Faculty and those awarded by Headwaters (after independent judging) have been announced for Spring 2013:
Carl Sandburg Prize in Poetry: Robert Reid Drake, for “Saints”
Comfort Scholarship Award: Christopher Hill 
Kenneth Noland Award in Art: Christine Templeton, for “Atomic Jellyfish # 3”
Thomas Wolfe Prize in Fiction: David Rogers, for “Honeydew”
Topp/Grillot Poetry Scholarship: Corey McClintock
Topp/Grillot Poetry Scholarship: Caroline Ketchum 
Wilma Dykeman Prize in Non-Fiction:  Amy Borg, for “I. The Language Barrier”
Hannah Virginia Harrison, a December 2009 graduate, has completed a Master's degree at the University of Louisville and is now headed for a Ph.D.  She's been accepted to continue at the University of Louisville and at the University of Texas at Austen, with fellowship offers and every other sort of recruitment.  Congratulations to Hannah!
Amanda Wray was recently elected the North Carolina representative to the Board of Carolinas Writing Program Administrators.
Rick Chess has an essay included in a symposium on troubling the lexicon of art and faith in the current issue of IMAGE,  and a poem in a recently published anthology called Poems of Devotion. Several poems will be published in a forthcoming anthology of American Jewish poetry; he continues to publish short essays in Good Letters, Image Journal's blog. And he has just received a $5,000 grant from the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society to support the use of contemplative pedagogy at UNC Asheville.
Lori Horvitz has recently published her creative nonfiction essays in Chariton Review, South Dakota Review (nominated for a 2012 Pushcart Prize), Burrow Press, Mad Hatters’ Review and Juked. In December 2012, she was a writer-in-residence fellow at Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.

Erica Abrams Locklear
is presenting two papers this spring: "“I Always Feel Like Somebody’s Watching Me:” Voyeurism as Social Control in Reflections in a Golden Eye" at the American Literary Association Symposium on the Gothic in Savannah, Georgia and "Eating Well while Feeling Poor and Ashamed: Cratis D. Williams’ Culinary Dilemmas in Tales from Sacred Wind" at the Appalachian Studies Association conference in Boone.
Rick Chess, who is the Roy Carroll Distinguished Professor in the Humanities, has just received a signal honor.  He's been named the Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished Poet for Western North Carolina, a post sponsored by the North Carolina Poetry Series. More information on the Gilbert-Chappell Poets may be found here.
Visiting Assistant Professor Kirk Boyle's edited collection Bust Culture: The Great Recession in Fiction, Film, and Television will be published by Lexington Books in 2013. The collection, which he is co-editing with Dr. Daniel Mrozowski (Trinity College), examines a variety of cultural artifacts that reflect, refract, and/or respond to the current economic downturn.

Adam Jernigan, '12,
was just accepted to Warren Wilson's MFA program in fiction writing, and  Mesha Maren,'12, was accepted into Queens University of Charlotte MFA program, in Charlotte, NC.

Katie Herzog, class of 2005, has become organized, apparently.  Check her out at
Katherin Min has just been notified by  the Treasurer of the Sherwood Anderson Foundation (also, Anderson's grandson), that she has apparently won the Sherwood Anderson Foundation grant for fiction writing. It's an annual award set up by his trust, worth $15,000. Congratulations to Katherine!
An upcoming appearance by Lauren Winner, sponsored by the Center for Jewish Studies, will be of interest to Literature Department people.  Dr. Winner was raised Jewish, converted to Orthodox Judaism in college and to Christianity while in graduate school.  She teaches at Duke Divinity School.  She is the author of four books, the most recent being Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis (January 2012). Dr. Winner will read on Wednesday night, October 3. 
At the end-of-year faculty meeting, in May, three Department faculty members were honored.  Jim Driggers, who has been a lecturer for years, took retirement, as he is moving to Orlando.  He will be greatly missed.  Professor Cindy Ho was named one of the two 2012 Feldman Professors for Outstanding Scholarship and University Service.  And Assistant Professor Erica Abrams Locklear was the winner of the Distinguished Teaching Award for teaching in the Humanities.  Congratulations to both!

Brian Sneeden, who graduated in December, 2008, has recently been admitted to the University of Virginia's prestigious MFA program with a full fellowship for two years. He was one of ten students chosen from more than 800 applicants. He said he's really looking forward to working with Rita Dove, Greg Orr, and Paul Guest. Alessa Edwards Leming (class of 1993) has had three poems published at an online journal of essaays and poetry focusing on disabilities. The poems are in the following issues: December 2010; June 2011, under the link to the contest winners; and September 2011. Her poem, Zwolf, won third place in the contest for non-disabled poets.

At the spring 2012 Student and Alumni Leadership Awards event, Matt Owens won the award for Outstanding Community Service, for creative writing programs on campus and in the community.

Jacob Riley, a 2010 graduate, has just been admitted to the doctoral program at the University of Florida, with a $20,000 Fellowship.

Bryce Arghiere, class of 2010, has been accepted in the Appalachian State University recently Geography MA program (Geographic Information Systems track) for Fall 2012 with all expenses paid by a renewable apprenticeship position.

A work of fiction by Mesha Maren-Hogan, a story entitled "Meridian," was chosen by Katherine Vaz as the winner of the Lex Allen Literary Festival Fiction Contest at Hollins University on March 10.

Dr. Lori Horvitz has once again led the F-Word Film Festival: A Celebration of Images by and about Women but for all Audiences, which showed films in the Humanities Lecture Hall on Wednesday and Thursday, March 21-22; a panel discussion with UNCA Faculty and Students followed the screenings.  This is the eleventh year of the F-Word Festival, created by Dr. Horvitz.

As usual, the Literature Department had a substantial presence at the annual    meeting of the Philological Association of the Carolinas, which took place in Myrtle Beach. Professors Russell, Boyle, Moseley, Ettari, and Hobby presented papers on the program. Dr. Ettari is now the president of PAC, Dr. Boyle an at-large member of the governing board, and Dr. Hobby the editor of the proceedings, called Postscript, and the webmaster.

And several of Dr. Ettari's students presented, again following a well-established tradition of undergraduate research presentations by outstanding UNC Asheville students. Their Shakespeare Student Panel consisted of Sarah Hinson, "Reconciling Conceptions of Madness, Patriarchal Control and the Fate of Lady Macbeth"; Heide Penner, "Homeostatic Aims: Maintaining Balance in Shakespear's Coriolanus"; and Jeremy Johnson, "The Implications of Clothes and Costumes in King Lear." Amanda Gardner  presented "I Am a Story that I Tell Myself: A Reader's Response to Beckett's Company." See more photos from PAC.

Congratulations to all the students who passed their Senior Comprehensive Exams this spring, and especially to those who earned a HIGH PASS: Julia Culbreath, Jesse Rice-Evans, and Allison Smith.

Katherine Min is presenting at the 2012 AWP (Associated Writing Programs) Conference, on a panel entitled, "Why Time Matters?" Her short paper is on the concept of time in the novel. The presentation is March 2, and the Conference is in Chicago.

And an interview with Katherine, conducted by Margo Williams, a writer from Wilmington, will be featured in the Spring 2012 issue of Glimmer Train Magazine.

Patrick Finn

From the Darkness Right Under Our Feet, a collection of short stories by former Lecturer Patrick Finn, won the 2009 Hudson Prize and has been selected as one of GQ's "Books of the Year" for 2011.   In addition to his teaching at UNC Asheville, where he was awarded an Excellence in Teaching Award in 2006, Patrick has taught writing at the University of Arizona and Western Nebraska Community College. In 2007 he founded and currently coordinates the creative writing program at Chandler-Gilbert Community College. He lives in Arizona with his wife, poet Valerie Bandura, and their son James.


The Literature and Language Department welcomes two new additions to the faculty this year: Assistant Professor of literature Amanda Wray and Visiting Assistant Professor Kirk Boyle

David Brendan Hopes




David Hopes has won the 2011 Sonora Review Short Short Fiction Contest for “Toward A Cinema of the Imagination.” Details of the selection and an excerpt from the story are available at the journal's online site.


Current Student Amy Smith has been accepted for study at Aalborg University inDenmark logo Denmark for the spring semester.  Congratulations, Amy!



On October 21, the Great Smokies Writing Program and Malaprops Bookstore hosted a reading and discussion by Charles Frazier, author of Cold Mountain, in the Humanities Lecture Hall. Frazier discussed his new novel, Nightwoods, and he was interviewed onstage by fellow local author Brian Lee Knopp. 

Appalachian poet Melissa Range read from her work on November 9 in the Laurel Forum. Her book, "Horse and Rider," was published in 2010.

Members of the Creative Writing Faculty, Holly Iglesias, Molly Walling, Cynn Chadwick, Rick Chess, Tommy Hays, and Katherine Min, read from their recent work on September 16 in the Laurel Forum. A second reading in the spring semester will feature works by the other half of this talented group.

A writer's voice implies knowing who she is as an author. Katherine Min comments on the importance of narrative voice in J.T. Bushnell's article, "The Unreliable Narrator," in this issue of Poets and Writers.

Erica Abrams Locklear read from her book, "Negotiating a Perilous Empowerment: Appalachian Women's Literacies," to a large and enthusiastic crowd at Malaprops Bookstore in downtown Asheville on September 25.

Memoir writer, journalist, and activist Stephanie Elizondo Griest gave a presentation and reading in the Laurel Forum on September 27th. She has written two award-winning memoirs: "Mexican Enough: My Life Between the Borderlines" (Washington Square Press/Simon & Schuster, 2008); and "Around the Bloc: My Life in Moscow, Beijing, and Havana" (Villard/Random House, 2004), and has edited the best-selling guidebook "100 Places Every Woman Should Go" (Travelers’ Tales, 2007). A passionate activist, Griest founded and directed the Youth Free Expression Network, a program of the National Coalition Against Censorship, in New York City.

Norman Fischer, author of "Taking Our Places: The Buddhist Path to Truly Growing Up," read from his work in February.

Poet and South Asian scholar Laurie Patton will be on campus in March. Her most recent volume of poetry is "Angel's Task: Poems in Biblical Time."

Author Sandra Cisneros will speak about her writing when she visits UNC Asheville in March. Her novels, innovative for crossing borders of genre and form, include the internationally acclaimed "The House on Mango Street" and "Caramelo," awarded the Premio Napoli, nominated for the Orange Prize, and shortlisted for the International IMPAC DUBLIN Literary Award. Her awards include two National Endowment of the Arts Fellowships for both fiction and poetry, the Lannan Literary Award, the American Book Award, the Texas Medal of the Arts, and a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship.

Cindy Ho, along with three other UNC Asheville faculty, attended a two-week workshop at the East-West Center in Honolulu on developing Chinese culture curriculum. This workshop was funded by a three year Dept. of Education Title VI Grant awarded to UNC Asheville and administered by Cindy. Among other activities, this grant supports annual faculty development projects on campus. This year’s program, China Symposium: Chinese Culture and Humanities (Nov. 7 and 8) will bring two outstanding scholars to campus. Roger Ames, Professor of Philosophy at University of Hawaii, Manoa, and editor of Philosophy East & West and Stanley Murashige, Associate Professor of the Art Institute of Chicago, both of whom will give public presentations and meet with faculty and students. Cindy also has spent the past year researching and writing her Humanities textbook, "Spirit of the Times," projected to appear from Oxford UP late 2012.

Richard Chess has been appointed to the new Roy Carroll Professorship of Honors Arts and Sciences.Rick Chess
During his three-year term, Rick will assist the Director of the Honors Program in refining and advancing its mission and linking it powerfully to other core University initiatives, such as undergraduate research and civic engagement; in supporting ongoing student mentorship and faculty development in the Honors program; and in increasing the statewide, regional and national visibility of the program and its mission. In addition, Rick will use this appointment as a platform for a scholarly and creative project in the area of Contemplative Studies, to be undertaken with Honors students and interested faculty from across the University. This prestigious appointment recognizes the outstanding work Professor Chess has done in teaching, writing, and scholarship. 

Dee James with students in Ghana

Deborah James is Co-Director of the UNC Asheville Ghana Summer Study Abroad program and spent a rewarding month in Ghana this summer with a group of other faculty members and seven students. She welcomes questions about the program from all interested parties. In the Laurel Forum on September 15 at 12:30, Dee and other members of the group that traveled to Ghana spoke to an enthusiastic crowd about their adventures there.



Blake Hobby was honored with the UNC Asheville Scholarly/Creative Achievement Award at the final faculty meeting of the year in May. Among his many accomplishments for this academic year, Blake published "The Student’s Encyclopedia of Great American Writers 1945-1970," as well as eight volumes in the Bloom’s Literary Themes series. Blake delivered a paper on Cormac McCarthy at the 25th Anniversary Blood Meridian Conference in San Marcos, TX, and took along several of his enthusiastic students, who also presented their work at the conference. He serves as president of the Philological Association of the Carolinas, with Gary Ettari, as editor for Postscript, the journal of the Philological Association of the Carolinas, and, with Brian Butler, as executive editor of the Journal of Black Mountain College Studies. He also continues as Director of the University Honors Program. Blake's musical versatility has recently been displayed in three local Baroque concerts, where he played harpsichord, and in a spring reception for Peg Downes, where he accompanied a rhythmically-challenged flash mob.

Jim in Florence

Jim Driggers is now Director of Creative Writing. He has taught Creative Writing classes in the department for ten years, as well as courses in Literature, Humanities, and Language 120. He has also taught Italian film as part of the department summer sessions in Italy. As part of the spring semester's Faculty Lecture Series, Jim presented "Lessons from Camp: Douglas Sirk, Melodrama, and Social Messaging." Showing clips from Sirk's Hollywood melodramas of the 1950s in Highsmith Union's Grotto, Jim illustrated the ways movies that are identified as "camp" can actually address more serious social issues. Jim recently read from his prizewinning novella, "Jesus is My BFF," at the eighth annual Saints and Sinners Literary Festival in New Orleans.

David Hopes's history play Vance was featured in August at Mars Hill’s Southern Appalachian Repertory Theater. A commissioned piece about local 19th century political figure Zebulon Vance, Vance joins Hopes's Lincoln series -- "TheLoves of Mr. Lincoln" and "Earthly Power" -- in investigating dramatically the great American drama of the Civil War. Hopes has just finished a novel about life in Asheville, entitled "Night, Sleep, and the Dreams of Lovers."

Cynn Chadwick, whose fifth book, As The Table Turns,” was released in Spring 2011 by Napping Porch Press, read at Posana Cafe on Monday April 25th with local novelists, Charles Dodd White and Vicki Lane, as part of the Flood Gallery Reading Series. Cynn notes on her blog that "writing fiction is mostly a hindsight way to rectifying wrongs, serving justice or vengeance, fulfilling dreams, explaining mysteries, revealing histories, and happily ever-aftering an otherwise sad or tragic ending." She is the author of Bywater Books publications “Angels and Manners" and the Cat Rising Series. In addition, Napping Porch Press has released all of her novels and a continuing series of Shorts as ebooks on Kindle and Nook.

Michael Gillum published "Rational Fealty and Willed Faith in Paradise Lost" in Postscript 27 (2011). Dr. Gilllum was featured in the Fall/Winter issue of UNC Asheville Magazine in an article celebrating his forty-three years of teaching at the University.

Merritt with Pat BarkerMerritt Moseley is at work on a book called "Reader's Guide to Essential Criticism of Pat Barker," for Palgrave Macmillan.  He chaired sessions and made a presentation at the PAC Conference in March. He presented a paper on constrained literature at the Oulipo Conference in November and was recently awarded the Robert B. Heilman Award for outstanding book reviewing, by the Sewanee Review.

Several of the Literature and Language faculty, including Cynn Chadwick, Lorena Russell, David Hopes, Jim Driggers, and Lori Horvitz, chaired sessions and presented papers at the 2011 Queer Studies Conference on the campus of UNC Asheville  on March 31-April 2. The theme of this year's conference was "Queer as an Active Verb." Several students in the Literature and Language department also made presentations.

The Literature and Language Department hosted the 35th Annual Conference of the Philological Association of the Carolinas March 17-19. Among the faculty session chairs and presenters were Blake Hobby (the president of PAC), Gary Ettari, Merritt Moseley, Cindy Ho, Michael Gillum, and Lorena Russell. Sam Schuman gave Friday's Keynote Address on the topic   "Only Connect." The well-received UNC Asheville student presenters included Brian Hart, Lindsey Sprague, Seth Chandler, and Amanda Gardner.

Korean Temple

Katherine Min spent the summer traveling to and from Southern California, where she wrote every morning and went to the beach every afternoon. She also went back to South Korea, (for the first time in nearly 30 years), to celebrate her father's 80th birthday. An excerpt from her novel-in-progress, The Fetishist, appears in the recent issue of Black Clock, the literary journal published by the California Institute of the Arts. She taught in the low-residency MFA program at Queens University, in Charlotte, in May.

As part of the Flood Reading Series, poets Richard Chess and Holly Iglesias and novelists Tommy Hays and Katherine Min read from their recent works at Posana Cafe in downtown Asheville in February and March.

Holly Iglesias is one of only forty-two recipients of the National Endowment for the Arts fellowships in poetry. Dr. Iglesias, core faculty in UNC Asheville's Master of Liberal Arts program, as well as an instructor in Humanities, Arts,Literature aPoet Holly Iglesiasnd Language, and History, is North Carolina's only 2011 recipient of this honor. This fall she will be giving the Harwood-Cole Endowed Lecture at Warren Wilson College as well as leading the Prose Poetry Workshop at the North Carolina Writers Network Conference. Her volume of poetry, "Angles of Approach," is available from White Pine Press, and she has a poetry chapbook, “Fruta Bomba” forthcoming, as well as “Boom,” a poetry manuscript focused on the Cold War, in progress. 



Erica Abrams Locklear's Appalachian Literature class enjoys dinner and bluegrass in Madison County

Erica Abrams Locklear has been reappointed as Assistant Professor in Literature. Her book, "Negotiating a Perilous Empowerment: Appalachian Women's Literacies," is now available from Ohio University Press' Series in Race, Ethnicity, and Gender in Appalachia. She served as core faculty in the NEH Summer Institute, Power and Place: Land and Peoples in Appalachiathis summer on the UNC Asheville campus. Her Appalachian Literature class partnered with Madison High School in the spring, and her essay about the collaboration, "Building Bridges: Results from One University and High School Partnership," is soon to be published by Ohio University Press in a new collection on teaching Appalachia.In November Erica presented a paper entitled “Fictionalizing Agency: Reading to Make Student Empowerment Real” at the South Atlantic Modern Language Association conference in Atlanta, Georgia. Between her frequent presentations at regional conferences, Erica has published a review in the Mississippi Quarterly, and has some other articles in the works, all at various stages (from "revise and we're almost ready!" to "still drafting"), demonstrating that even very accomplished professional writers follow the recursive writing process taught in Language 120.
E and L


Lori Horvitz, Faculty Adviser for Headwaters, UNCA's Literary Magazine, has been appointed Co-Director of the Women's, Gender and Sexuality Program at UNCA.  This past April, Dr. Horvitz organized Queer Girls 3, a reading of queer women writers, at the Flood Gallery in the River Arts District. Readers included a UNCA student and professor, and a Warren Wilson student and professor. Recently, her essays and poetry have been published in Prose-Poem, Mad Hatters' Review and the Hamilton Stone Review. She is the editor of the anthology, "Queer Girls in Class: Lesbian Teachers and Students Tell Their Classroom Stories," published by Peter Lang, as part of the series, "Counterpoints: Studies in Postmodern Theory of Education." She has been awarded a writing fellowship from the Virginia Center of Creative Arts, where she will be a resident in December of 2011.

Award-winning fiction writer Bret Anthony Johnston read from his work, answered questions, and signed copies of his books on March 15 as part of the P.B. Parris Visiting Writers Series. Johnston is the author of the internationally acclaimed "Corpus Christi: Stories" and the editor of "Naming the World: And Other Exercises for the Creative Writer." Named a Best Book of the Year by The Independent of London and The Irish Times, "Corpus Christi: Stories" received The Southern Review’s Annual Short Fiction Award, the Texas Institute of Letters’ Debut Fiction Award,the Christopher Isherwood Prize and the James Michener Fellowship. His work appears in magazines such as The Paris Review, The New York Times Magazine, Esquire, The Oxford American and Tin House and in anthologies such as New Stories from the South: The Year’s Best 2003, 2004, 2005, 2008, and 2010. He is a graduate of Miami University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and the recipient of the Glasgow Prize for Emerging Writers and a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship. He has written essays for and is a regular contributor to NPR’s "All Things Considered." In 2006, the National Book Foundation honored him with a new National Book Award for writers under 35. A skateboarder for almost twenty years, he is currently the Director of Creative Writing at Harvard.


Erica with students at Ron Rash Conference





The Literature Club said farewell and thanks to last year's officers, Gillie, Seth, Hannah, and Rebecca, and elected officers for the 2011-2012 school year: Co-Presidents- Lavadia Spaugh and Daniel Everhart, Treasurer- Charles Hurt, and Secretary- Robert Manzo. The new officers are planning the series of meetings, readings, and celebrations that contribute to the camaraderie of the students in the department. The Lit Club also provides lunch for students on the day they take their Senior Comprehensive Exams.

On March 3, the Literature Club sponsored a lecture entitled "Trouble in Paradise," by Valerie Smith, the founding director of the Center for African American Studies at Princeton University. Dr. Smith is a specialist in African American literature and culture, an authority on the works of Toni Morrison, and has special interest in black feminist theory and film studies. Her works as author and editor include "Self-Discovery and Authority in Afro-American Narrative," "Not Just Race, Not Just Gender: Black Feminist Readings," "New Essays on Song of Solomon," and "Representing Blackness: Issues in Film and Video."



Department Awards and Scholarships:

  • Matthew Owens - the Comfort Award for Excellence in in Creative Writing
  • Adam Jernigan - the Wilma Dykeman Award for University Writing;
  • Chett Tiller - the Thomas Wolfe Prize in Fiction;
  • Ryan-Ashley Anderson - the Carl Sandburg Prize in Poetry;
  • Michaela Holcombe, Jacob Latini, and Mary Ellen Phillips - the Topp/Grilliot Poetry Award;
  • Jasper Moore - the Comfort Scholarship;
  • Hannah Doyle (Fall 2010) and Laura Hunt (Spring 2011)- the Virginia Bryan Award for Best Senior Paper;
  • Lindsey Sprague - the Gerald Gullickson Award for Top Rising Senior;
  • Seth Chandler - the Jeff Rackham Award for Teaching Scholar.

Senior Rebecca Levy presented her paper, “Aestheticism in Prison: Oscar Wilde's Politics after Reading Gaol,” at the NC State Association of English Graduate Students Symposium, in Raleigh on February 25-26. Rebecca’s paper, which began as her senior thesis under the guidance of Drs. Deborah James and Lorena Russell, investigates the ways that Oscar Wilde's identity as an aesthetic shaped his writing on prison reforms.

Seniors Hannah Doyle and Daniel Resner, students of Dr. Blake Hobby, presented papers at the Cormac McCarthy Society’s San Marcos Conference in Texas in October 2010. Both Hannah’s work, “The Glanton Gang and its Discontents—The Judge as Cultural Super-Ego in Blood Meridian,” and Danny’s, “’Eternal war since the world began’—Blood Meridian's Revision of Moby-Dick,” have been accepted for publication in the journal of conference papers.

"Out of My Control," a poem by recent graduate and office assistant Brian Hart, was selected as a finalist for the Literary Festival Undergraduate Poetry Contest of Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia.

Seth Chandler and Danny Resner with Katherine Min in San Diego, Summer 2011

Last edited by on May 18, 2015