Blake Bailey’s biography of John Cheever, Cheever: A Life, won the 2009 National Book Critics Circle Award, the Francis Parkman Prize, and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, among many other accolades. His biography of Richard Yates, A Tragic Honest: The Life and Work of Richard Yates, was a finalist for the 2003 National Book Critics Circle Award. In addition, Bailey received an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2010, and a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2005. For the Library of America, he edited two volumes of Cheever’s work: John Cheever: Collected Stories and Other Writings, and John Cheever: Complete Novels. Bailey currently is the Mina Hohenberg Darden Professor of Creative Writing at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia.
Tara Shea Burke is in her second year of the MFA program at Old Dominion University. She is a writing tutor at the campus Writing Tutorial Services, has served on the administrative staff of Barely South Review, and is one of its current Poetry editors. She spends most of her spare time with her girlfriend, their three dogs, fat cat and hamster, and can be found pouring wine for guests a few nights a week at a local wine bar.
Ann Barry Burrows s a writer living in Norfolk, Virginia. Fomerly an award-winning staff writer for newspapers and magazines, such as The Virginian-Pilot and Georgia Trend, she has broadened her work to writing fiction. Semi-annually she directs health training in poor villages of Kenya and Nicaragua while helping to install clean water systems. Now an MFA student at Old Dominion University, she has published fiction in Alimentum Journal and is at work on a novel.
Bonnie Jo Campbell is the author of Women and Other Animals, Q Road, and American Salvage. She is the winner of the AWP Award for Short Fiction and the Southern Review’s 2008 Eudora Welty Prize. Her stories have appeared in Southern Review, Kenyon Review, and Ontario Review. American Salvage was a 2009 finalist for the National Book Award in Fiction.
Valarie is a 2009 transplant from Alaska who is currently very displeased with Southeast Virginia’s weather. Most of her written work has been read by government officials reviewing grant proposals from nonprofit agencies, but she has some more readily-accessible scribblings available on AltDaily.com. She’s the current Managing Editor for Barely South Review and urges all potential contributors to proofread and make sure their cover letters are addressed to the correct publication.
Ted Conover is the critically-acclaimed author of Rolling Nowhere: Riding the Rails with America’s Hoboes; Whiteout; Coyotes: A Journey Across the Border with America’s Mexican Migrants; and Newjack: Guarding Sing Sing, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and a winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award. His latest work is The Routes of Man, which explores the ways roads are changing the world.
Tony DeLateur is in his final year at ODU’s creative writing program. He chose the fiction track, but likes that the program gave him opportunities to write creative nonfiction and journalism. This article grew out of an in-person interview with author Dennis Lehane, who read at ODU’s annual Literary Festival in promotion of his latest mystery, Moonlight Mile.
Natalie Diaz was born and raised on the Fort Mohave Indian Reservation in Needles, California. After playing professional basketball in Europe and Asia for four years, she returned to ODU to complete her MFA. She has been awarded the 2007 Pablo Neruda Prize in Poetry and the 2007 Tobias Wolff Fiction Prize. Her first poetry collection, When My Brother Was an Aztec, is forthcoming from Copper Canyon.
John-Henry Doucette’s journalism, short fiction and photography have
appeared in various magazines, newspapers and reviews. He is a
occasional contributor of essays and short fiction to Treehouse
Magazine. A native Rhode Islander, he lives in Portsmouth, Va., with
his family, and is seeking an MFA in creative writing at Old Dominion
University in Norfolk, Va. Some of his writing and photography is
available at his website.
Travis is the founding editor of escarp, a selective, Twitter-based review of brief poetry and prose; a poetry editor for Barely South Review; and is currently being pursued by an MFA in creative writing at Old Dominion University. In his spare time, he enjoys designing, reading, writing and alphabetizing. In his not-so-spare time, he enjoys furtively reorganizing his bookshelves, closet and desk.
Writer Brenda Flanagan, in 2005, became the first American writer to be sent to read her work in Libya in 25 years. Sponsored by the US Department of State, Flanagan was chosen to be the first cultural ambassador from the US to perform in Tripoli and Benghazi because of her success as a writer/performer in countries known to have uneasy relationships with America. Her abilities to work with writers, academics, students, and the general population in countries as diverse as Brazil, Chad, Chile, the Czech Republic, India, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Morocco, Panama, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Tunisia, has made her and her work popular world-wide, and has brought most favorable attention to American and Caribbean literatures.
A widely published writer of short stories, several published in her collection, In Praise of Island Women and Other Crimes, poems, plays, essays, and the popular, prize-winning novel, You Alone Are Dancing (The University of Michigan Press),. Flanagan’s newest novel, Allah In the Islands about an Islamic uprising in the Caribbean, is now available from Peepal Tree Press. Her stories have been translated into Spanish, Arabic, and Russian.
A September 2009 winner of the prestigious North Carolina Arts Council award for literary non-fiction, Flanagan is at work on a book about the year she worked with the famous American singer, Nina Simone.
Mr. Gatlin earned his bachelor’s degree (cum laude), MS, Ed., and MFA from Old Dominion University. He’s responsible for the design of Tidewater Tech’s English, British, World Literature and Composition curricula, and teaches composition and literature course as ODU. He’s a full-time assistant professor at Regent University, specializing in fiction, nonfiction and drama composition, as well as rhetoric, compositional studies and American Literature. He’s the author of one play, a short story, and two poems, acts as faculty advisor for a university press magazine and is an active participant at national conferences.
Born in New Orleans, LA, Norton Girault got his BA and MA in English at LSU. He served on cruisers and destroyers in World War II and the Korean War, and retired from the Navy in 1969, and taught English at Norfolk State University for fifteen years. His poetry, fiction and essays have appeared in Sounding Review, The Crescent Review, MSS, Snake, Nation Review, Webster Review, Timbuktu, Old Dominion Review and other magazines.
Claudia Isler has published five nonfiction books for children and young adults and is currently at work on a collection of short stories. Her story “Hail Marys” appeared in Scribblers on the Roof.
Rodger Kamenetz is an award-winning poet and author. He wrote the international bestseller The Jew in the Lotus and the National Jewish Book Award-winning Stalking Elijah. His five books of poetry include The Lowercase Jew. Kamenetz has been called “the most formidable of the Jewish-American poets.” His latest book, The History of Last Night’s Dream, was featured on Oprah Winfrey’s Soul Series.
Randall Kenan is the author of novels, stories, and nonfiction, including A Visitation of Spirits, Let the Dead Bury Their Dead, Walking on Water: Black American Lives at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century, and The Fire This Time. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Whiting Writers Award, the Sherwood Anderson Award, the John Dos Passos Award, and the Rome Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Dennis Lehane is the author of A Drink Before the War, Darkness, Take My Hand, Sacred, Gone Baby Gone, Prayers for Rain, Mystic River, The Given Day, and Shutter Island. Mystic River was a finalist for the PEN/Winship Award and won the Anthony Award and the Barry Award for Best Novel, as well as the Massachusetts Book Award in Fiction. Before becoming a full-time writer, Lehane worked as a counselor with abused children, waited tables, parked cars, drove limos, worked in bookstores, and loaded tractor trailers. He has written episodes for the acclaimed series The Wire.
Sarah McCoy graduate from Virginia Tech with a BA in journalism and public relations. She received her MFA in Fiction from Old Dominion University. Sarah’s debut novel is titled The Time It Snowed In Puerto Rico. She is working on a second novel.
Paula McMahon is a fiction graduate from the MFA Creative Writing program at Old Dominion University. She has a Bachelor of Journalism Degree from the University of Missouri – Columbia, and has had short stories published in Dogwood: A Journal of Poetry and Prose and the Sequoia Review. Her story, “The One That Got Away,” received an Honorable Mention in the 2009 AWP Intro Journals Project. She and her husband manage a small advertising agency and have four children.
Andrea J. Nolan is the author of Sea Kayaking Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay and Sea Kayaking Virginia, both published by Countryman Press. She graduated from Old Dominion University’s MFA program in May 2009, and has fiction and essays published and forthcoming in journals such as Flyway, Dogwood, Alligator Jumper, and the Potomac Review, and her essay “Edges” was acknowledged as a “Notable Essay” in Best American Essays 2009, edited by Mary Oliver. Ms. Nolan teaches at Old Dominion University.
Wilbert Rideau was once a death row inmate in Angola Prison in Louisiana. Since his 2005 trial and release after 44 years, former Angolite editor Rideau has devoted himself to educating people about the realities of the world behind bars. His autobiography, In the Place of Justice: A Story of Punishment and Deliverance, is more than a tale of personal transformation and triumph; it is also the story of how the Louisiana State Penitentiary changed from the bloodiest prison in America to one of the safest.
Seni Seneviratne is a writer, singer, photographer, and performer. She was born in Leeds, Yorkshire, to an English mother and a Sri Lankan father. Her poetry and prose are published in the UK, Denmark, Canada and South Africa. Wild Cinnamon and Winter Skin is her first poetry collection.
Dana Staves received her MFA in Fiction from Old Dominion University in 2010. Her work has been published in Fiction Writers’ Review and The Virginian-Pilot. She currently teaches English, peddles fine Greek cooking, and is working on her first collection of short stories.