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All day and evening in-person classes in Cullowhee and at Biltmore Park instructional site are suspended for Tuesday, Jan. 18.

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Artists

Aimee Nezhukumatathil is the author of a book of nature essays, World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, & Other Astonishments, which was named Barnes and Nobles’ Book of the Year in 2020, and four award-winning poetry collections, most recently, Oceanic (2018). Her writing has appeared in NYTimes Magazine, ESPN, and Best American Poetry. She is professor of English and Creative Writing in the University of Mississippi’s MFA program.

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Deesha Philyaw’s debut short story collection, The Secret Lives of Church Ladies, won the 2021 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, the 2020/2021 Story Prize, and a 2020 LA Times Book Prize: The Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction; the collection was also a finalist for the 2020 National Book Award for Fiction. The Secret Lives of Church Ladies focuses on Black women, sex, and the Black church, and is being adapted for television by HBO Max with Tessa Thompson executive producing. Deesha will be the 2022-2023 John and Renée Grisham Writer-in-Residence at the University of Mississippi.

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Wiley Cash is the New York Times bestselling author of A Land More Kind Than Home. He’s been a fellow at Yaddo and the MacDowell Colony, and he teaches fiction writing and literature at the University of North Carolina-Asheville, where he serves as Alumni Author-in-Residence. His new novel, When Ghosts Come Home, is available wherever books are sold. He lives in North Carolina with his wife, photographer Mallory Cash, and their daughters. 

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photo by Mallory Cash

Ashley M. Jones is is the Poet Laureate of the State of Alabama and the author of the author of Magic City Gospel,  dark / / thingand REPARATIONS NOW! Her poems and essays appear in or are forthcoming at CNN, POETRY, The Oxford American, Origins Journal, and many others. She co-directs PEN Birmingham, and she is the founding director of the Magic City Poetry Festival. She teaches in the Creative Writing Department of the Alabama School of Fine Arts, and she is part of the Core Faculty of the Converse University Low Residency MFA Program

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Torrey Peters is the author of the bestselling novel Detransition, Baby (Random House, 2021), which was longlisted for the Women’s Prize and was a Roxane Gay’s Audacious Book Club Pick. She is also the author of the novellas Infect Your Friends and Loved Ones and The Masker. Peters holds an MFA from the University of Iowa and a Masters in Comparative Literature from Dartmouth. She splits her time between Brooklyn and an off-grid cabin in Vermont.

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Rachel Yoder is the author of Nightbitch, published by Doubleday. She holds MFAs from the University of Iowa and the University of Arizona and is a founding editor of draft: the journal of process. She grew up on a Mennonite commune in the Appalachian foothills of eastern Ohio and now lives in Iowa City.

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Eduardo C. Corral is the son of Mexican immigrants. He’s the author of Guillotine, published by Graywolf Press, and Slow Lightning, which won the 2011 Yale Series of Younger Poets Competition. He's the recipient of a Whiting Writers' Award, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, and a Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University. He teaches in the MFA program at North Carolina State University.

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Photo by Matt Valentine

Kerry Howley is the author of Thrown, a New York Times Notable Book, New York Times Editor’s Choice, and pick for best-of-the-year lists in Time, Salon, Slate, and many other venues. Howley is a Feature Writer at New York Magazine; her work has also appeared in The Paris Review, Harper’s, New York Times Magazine, Granta, and Bookforum. In 2019 her New York profile of disgraced osteopathic physician Larry Nassar was nominated for a National Magazine Award. A former Assistant Professor at the University of Iowa’s celebrated Nonfiction Writing Program, Howley is currently at work on a nonfiction thriller about the American surveillance state, forthcoming from Knopf.

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James Tate Hill is the author of a memoir, Blind Man’s Bluff (W. W. Norton, 2021), a New York Times Editors’ Choice. The Best American Essays has chosen two of his works as "Notable," and he won the Nilsen Literary Prize for a First Novel for Academy Gothic. He serves as fiction editor for Monkeybicycle and contributing editor at Literary Hub, where he writes a monthly audiobooks column. Born in Charleston, West Virginia, he lives in Greensboro, North Carolina with his wife.

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Brian Brodeur is the author most recently of Every Hour Is Late (Measure Press, 2019). New poems and literary criticism appear in Hopkins Review, Gettysburg Review, Literary Matters, Southern Review, and The Writer’s Chronicle. Founder and Coordinator of the digital interview archive “How a Poem Happens,” Brian lives with his wife and daughter in the Whitewater River Valley. He teaches creative writing and American literature at Indiana University East.  

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Steve Scafidi is the author of Sparks from a Nine-Pound Hammer (Louisiana State University Press, 2001), For Love of Common Words (LSU 2006), The Cabinetmaker’s Window (LSU 2014), To the Bramble and the Briar (University of Arkansas Press, 2014) and a chapbook Songs for the Carry-On (Q Avenue Press, 2013). He has won the Larry Levis Reading Prize, the James Boatwright Prize and the Miller Williams Prize. His poems have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, and he has taught at several universities including, most recently, in the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University. He works as a cabinetmaker and lives with his family in Summit Point, West Virginia.

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photo by Isabella Scafidi

Karen Salyer McElmurray’s Surrendered Child:A Birth Mother’s Journey was an AWP Award Winner.  Her novels are Strange Birds in the Tree of Heaven; The Motel of the Stars; and Wanting Radiance, new in paperback from University Press of Kentucky. Her essay collection, Voice Lesson, came out from Iris Press in June 2021. Select essays have won awards from the Bellingham Review, New Southerner and Orison Magazine and have listed numerous times as Notable in Best American Essays.  She is a lover of quiet, critters, and heartfelt conversation. 

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Ed Southern is the author of Fight Songs: A Story of Love & Sports in a Complicated South. His shorter work has appeared in storySouth, the North Carolina Literary Review, the Asheville Poetry Review, South Writ Large, the NC 10x10 Play Festival, and elsewhere. A North Carolina native, since 2008 he has been the Executive Director of the North Carolina Writers' Network.

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