Robert J. Carr Visiting Authors Series


James Hannaham

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 and Ronald Davis

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 .




Illinois Alumni Authors: Paul Pedroza, Phillip B. Williams, and Ryo Yamaguchi

Paul Pedroza was born and raised in El Paso, Texas. He received his BA in Creative Writing and Mass Communication from the University of Texas at El Paso and his MFA in Fiction from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His story collection, The Dead Will Rise and Save Us, is available from Veliz Books. His work has appeared in Rattle, MAKE: A Chicago Literary Magazine, Palabra, BorderSenses, Confluencia, Inquiring Mind Buddhist Magazine, and in the anthologies Our Lost Border (Arte Público Press, 2013), New Border Voices (TAMU Press, 2014), and Mezcla 2(Tumblewords, 2013).

Phillip B. Williams is a Chicago, Illinois native and the author of the poetry collection Thief in the Interior (Alice James Books, 2016), and the chapbooks Bruised Gospels (Arts in Bloom Inc. 2011) and Burn (YesYes Books, 2013). He is a Cave Canem graduate and received scholarships from Bread Loaf Writers Conference and a 2013 Ruth Lilly Fellowship. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Anti-, Callaloo, Kenyon Review Online, Poetry, The Southern Review, West Branch and others. Phillip received his MFA in Writing as a Chancellor’s Graduate Fellow at the Washington University in St. Louis. He is the poetry editor of the online journal Vinyl Poetry.

Ryo Yamaguchi has an MFA from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. His poetry collection The Refusal of Suitors was published by Noemi Press in 2015. His poems have appeared in the The Iowa Review, American Letters & Commentary, and Tin House, among other places.






About the Robert J. Carr Visiting Authors Series

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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