James Hannaham has published a pair of novels: Delicious Foods, a PEN/Faulkner Award winner and New York Times Notable Book, and God Says No, a Lambda Book Award finalist. He practices many other types of writing and art and teaches at the Pratt Institute.
Crystal Wilkinson is the author of the novel The Birds of Opulence (2016), Blackberries, Blackberries, winner of the 2002 Chaffin Award for Appalachian Literature, and Water Street, a finalist for both the UK's Orange Prize for Fiction and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. Ron Davis (AKA upfromsumdirt) is a poet, an award-winning visual artist, and a graphic designer whose art has been exhibited across the South and the Midwest and has graced the covers of several journals and book covers, including Wilkinson's The Birds of Opulence, his own poetry collection Caul & Response and Keith Gilyard's The Next Great Old-School Conspiracy, among others. Together they run Wild Fig Books and Coffee in Lexington, Kentucky. Wild Fig Books was included in The New York Times recent feature on independent bookstores .
Paul Pedroza, born and raised in El Paso, Texas, received his MFA in Fiction from the UIUC in 2010. His work has appeared in Rattle, MAKE: A Chicago Literary Magazine, Palabra, BorderSenses, Confluencia, Inquiring Mind Buddhist Magazine, and in various anthologies, including Our Lost Border (Arte Público Press, 2013) and New Border Voices (TAMU Press, 2014). His story collection The Dead Will Rise and Save Us is available from Veliz Books.
Phillip B. Williams, a Chicago, Illinois native and a 2008 UIUC graduate in English, is the author of the book of poems Thief in the Interior (Alice James Books, 2016). Recipient of a Bread Loaf Writers Conference Fellowship and a 2013 Ruth Lilly Fellowship, Phillip earned his MFA in Writing from Washington University in St. Louis. He is the Co-editor in Chief of the online journal Vinyl, was the Emory University Creative Writing Fellow in Poetry for 2015-2016, and is Visiting Professor in English at Bennington College for 2016-2017.
Ryo Yamaguchi, a 2003 UIUC graduate (Psychology/Creative Writing), is the author of The Refusal of Suitors, published by Noemi Press. His poetry has appeared in journals such as Denver Quarterly, The Bennington Review, and Gulf Coast, among others. He also regularly reviews books for outlets such as Michigan Quarterly Review and NewPages. He lives in Seattle, where he works at Wave Books.
The Robert J. Carr Visiting Authors Series is made possible by a generous gift from benefactors Robert J. and Katherin Carr. All events in the series are free and open to the public.
Other recent visiting writers and poets in the series have included Andre Dubus III, Traci Brimhall, Richard Hoffman, Ladan Osman, Roger Reeves, and Kara Candito.
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