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Faculty

  • Hannah Dela Cruz Abrams

    Hannah Dela Cruz Abrams received the 2013 Whiting Writers Award for her novella The Man Who Danced with Dolls and her memoir-in-progress The Following Sea. She has been further supported by a Rona Jaffe National Literary Award and a North Carolina Arts Council Fellowship. Her work has appeared in Orion, the Oxford American, StoryQuarterly, The Pinch, Southern Humanities Review, and elsewhere. Abrams currently teaches in the Department of English at UNC Wilmington.

  • Dan Albergotti

    Dan Albergotti is the author of The Boatloads (BOA Editions, 2008) and Millennial Teeth (Southern Illinois University Press, 2014), as well as the chapbooks Of Air and Earth (Unicorn Press, 2019) and Circa MMXX (Unicorn Press, 2022). His poems have appeared in 32 Poems, The Cincinnati Review, Copper Nickel, Ecotone, The Southern Review, The Best American Poetry, and The Pushcart Prize, as well as other journals and anthologies. He is a professor of English at Coastal Carolina University.

  • Margaret Bauer

    Margaret Bauer has been the Editor of the North Carolina Literary Review for 25 years. This service to the state has been recognized with the North Carolina Award for Literature, given by Governor Roy Cooper in 2017, and the 2018 John Tyler Caldwell Award, North Carolina Humanities’ highest honor. The author of four books about Southern writers, she is now writing memoir and other forms of creative nonfiction. Her essays have appeared in storySouthCold Mountain ReviewChautauquaDeep SouthEclectica, and other literary magazines.

  • Anna Lena Phillips Bell

    Anna Lena Phillips Bell is the author of Ornament, winner of the Vassar Miller Poetry Prize, and the chapbook Smaller Songs, from St Brigid Press. Recent work appears in the Southern ReviewSubtropics, and A Literary Field Guide to Southern Appalachia; Bell’s artist’s books include the travel-sized prosody guide A Pocket Book of Forms. She is the recipient of a North Carolina Arts Council Fellowship in literature and the winner of the 2021 Winter Anthology Contest, and serves as the Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished Poet for eastern NC. The editor of Ecotone, she teaches in the creative writing department at UNC Wilmington, and calls ungendered Appalachian square dances in what’s now called North Carolina and beyond.

  • Wiley Cash

    Wiley Cash is the New York Times bestselling author of four novels and the founder of This Is Working, an online creative community. 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. He lives in North Carolina with his wife, photographer Mallory Cash, and their daughters.

  • Emily Colin

    Emily Colin’s debut novel, The Memory Thief, was a New York Times bestseller and a Target Emerging Authors Pick; she followed it up with The Dream Keeper’s Daughter. She co-edited and contributed to the young adult anthologies Wicked South: Secrets and Lies and Unbound: Stories of Transformation, Love, and Monsters, which was a Suspense Magazine “Best of” 2021 pick as well as a 2021 Foreword INDIES Award finalist. Emily is also the author of the young adult dystopian-fantasy Seven Sins series. Sword of the Seven Sins, the first book, was a Foreword INDIES Award finalist, won the YA fiction award of the North Carolina Indie Author Project, and was shortlisted for the 2021 Manly Wade Wellman Award for North Carolina Science Fiction and Fantasy. The second novel of the series, Siege of the Seven Sins, is a 2021 silver IPPY Award winner and Foreword INDIES finalist. A former Pitch Wars mentor and current KissPitch mentor, Emily is now a writing instructor for Authors Publish, a freelance editor, and a book coach. She lives in Wilmington.

  • Mark Cox

    Mark Cox has authored six volumes of poetry, the latest being Readiness (2018) and Sorrow Bread: Poems 1984-2015 (2017). He has a 35-year history of publication in prominent magazines and his honors include a Whiting Writers’ Award, a Pushcart Prize, the Oklahoma Book Award, and The Society of Midland Authors Poetry Prize. He chairs the Department of Creative Writing at UNC Wilmington and teaches in the Vermont College MFA Program.

  • Melissa Crowe

    Melissa Crowe is the author of Dear Terror, Dear Splendor (University of Wisconsin Press, 2019) and her second book of poems, Lo, is forthcoming (University of Iowa Press, 2023). Her work has appeared recently or is forthcoming in the New England Review, Poetry, Poetry Northwest, and Shenandoah, among other journals, and she was the 2021 winner of the Robert H. Winner Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America. She coordinates the MFA program at UNC Wilmington, where she teaches poetry and publishing.

  • Sayantani Dasgupta

    Born in Calcutta and raised in New Delhi, Sayantani Dasgupta received her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Idaho. Her most recent book is the short story collection Women Who Misbehave. She is also the author of Fire Girl: Essays on India, America, & the In-Between—a Finalist for the Foreword Indies Awards for Creative Nonfiction—and the chapbook The House of Nails: Memories of a New Delhi Childhood. She serves as an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at UNC Wilmington, and is a contributing editor for Assay: A Journal of Creative Nonfiction. Besides the US, Sayantani has also taught writing in India, Italy, and Mexico.

  • Clyde Edgerton

    Clyde Edgerton is the author of ten novels, a book of advice, a memoir, short stories, and essays. He has been a Guggenheim Fellow and five of his novels have been New York Times Notable Books. He is a member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers and is the Thomas S. Kenan III Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing at UNC Wilmington. He lives in Wilmington with his wife, Kristina, and their children.

  • KaToya Ellis Fleming

    KaToya Ellis Fleming is an assistant professor of publishing arts at UNC Wilmington and editor at Lookout Books. She was previously in residence in Little Rock, Arkansas, as the 2019–20 Oxford American Jeff Baskin Writers Fellow. She holds a BA in English from Spelman College and an MFA in narrative nonfiction from the University of Georgia and is currently at work on “Finding Frank,” a bibliomemoir. Her work focuses on race and culture in the American South and has appeared in the Oxford AmericanThe Rumpus, and the Georgia Review and elsewhere.

  • Gabrielle Brant Freeman

    Gabrielle Brant Freeman’s poetry has been published in many journals, including BarrelhouseThe Emerson ReviewEMRYS, Hobart, Rappahannock Review, The Rumpus, Scoundrel Time, ShenandoahstorySouth, Waxwing, and Whale Road Review. She has been nominated twice for the Best of the Net, and she was a 2014 finalist. Freeman won the 2015 Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition with her poem “Failure to Obliterate” which was published in storySouth. Her poem “Girltrap” was nominated for a Pushcart in 2017 by Scoundrel Time. Press 53 published her first book of poetry, When She Was Bad, in 2016. In 2015 and 2019, she was awarded a regional artist grant through the North Carolina Arts Council. In October of 2021, Freeman’s poems were used in a choreopoem titled “A Chorus Within Her” staged in Washington, DC. Freeman earned her MFA through Converse College in Spartanburg, SC. She teaches at East Carolina University, and she lives with her family in Eastern North Carolina.

  • Philip Gerard

    A native of Delaware, Philip Gerard earned his MFA at the University of Arizona. He is the author of fourteen books of fiction and nonfiction, most recently North Carolina in the 1940s: The Decade of Transformation (2022) and The Last Battleground: The Civil War Comes to North Carolina (2019). His novel Cape Fear Rising, a fictional account of the Wilmington white supremacist Coup of 1898, was reissued in a special 25th anniversary edition with a foreword by Randall Kenan and an author’s afterword that addresses both the process of writing the novel and the backlash that followed its original publication. He has appeared on National Public Radio’s Weekend edition, CNN, and C-SPAN, and was a regular commentator on the History Channel. He teaches in the Department of Creative Writing at UNC Wilmington, where he founded the MFA Program. He lives in Wilmington with his wife, Jill, with whom he co-edits Chautauqua, the literary journal of Chautauqua Institution in New York. In 2019, he received the North Carolina Award in Literature, the state’s highest civilian honor.

  • Zoe Aline Howard

    Zoe Aline Howard is a Wilmington-based literary agent and publicist. Zoe holds a BFA with Distinction and Publishing Certificate from UNC Wilmington, and has had the privilege to work across publishing with several entities: previously on publicity and marketing teams at Lookout Books, and currently as an agent acquiring adult fiction and nonfiction at Howland Literary, and as a literary publicist at Pine State Publicity. Through each of these and her own writing, Zoe has garnered an eye for those interdisciplinary, lyrical, quiet books that demand more space in publishing. In every book she works on, her largest goal is to find those niche and wider spaces where the voice of a project can truly be heard.

  • Nicki Leone

    Nicki Leone has been in the book business for over 35 years—since before they used computers. She has worked for a variety of bookstores including chain stores, independent stores, and idealistic mission-driven bookstores out to change the world, which they often did. She now works with the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance, a trade organization that supports and advocates for independent brick-and-mortar bookstores in the South. She has served on the board of the North Carolina Writers’ Network since 2003.

  • Malena Mörling

    Malena Mörling was born in southern Sweden in 1965. She is the author of two books of poetry: Ocean Avenue and Astoria. She has also published translations of work by Nobel Laureate Tomas Tranströmer and together with Jonas Ellerström, a collection of the Finland-Swedish poet Edith Södergran, On Foot I Wandered Through the Solar Systems, the collection 1933 by Philip Levine into Swedish, and they have edited and translated the anthology, The Star By My Head, Poets From Sweden published by Milkweed Editions. Mörling has received a Lannan Literary Fellowship, a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, and a Dianna L. Bennett Fellowship from the Beverly Rogers, Carol C. Harter Black Mountain Institute. She is a Professor of Creative Writing at UNC Wilmington.

  • Jason Mott

    Bestselling author Jason Mott has a BFA in Fiction and an MFA in Poetry, both from UNC Wilmington. His poetry and fiction has appeared in various literary journals. He is the author of two poetry collections: We Call This Thing Between Us Love and “…hide behind me…”  He is the author of four novels:  The ReturnedThe Wonder of All ThingsThe Crossing, and Hell Of A Book. The Returned, Jason’s debut novel, was adapted for television and aired on the ABC network under the title Resurrection. Jason’s fourth novel, Hell Of A Book, released in June 2021, was a Jenna Bush Hager “Read With Jenna” Book Club pick, Carnegie Medals For Excellence in Fiction Longlist selection, a 2022 Aspen Words Literary Prize Longlist selection, a Joyce Carol Oates Prize Longlist selection, the 2021 Sir Walter Raleigh Prize for Fiction winner, and the winner of the 2021 National Book Award for Fiction.

  • Celia Rivenbark

    Celia Rivenbark, a native of Duplin County, is the New York Times best-selling author of seven Southern humor books including You Can’t Drink All Day If You Don’t Start in the Morning, You Don’t Sweat Much for a Fat Girl, and the Southern Independent Booksellers’ nonfiction book of the year We’re Just Like You, Only Prettier. Her weekly humor column appears in Gannett newspapers across the country. Celia is an award-winning playwright whose work has been recognized by the James Thurber Society for excellence in the humor genre. Her work has appeared in national and regional publications including The Bitter Southerner and she is a frequent guest on comedy and writing podcasts and video series. Celia lives in Wilmington with her husband, Scott Whisnant, a retired hospital executive and true-crime author. They have one daughter, Sophie Whisnant, a writer in Charlotte. Celia’s obsessions include Tarheel basketball, perfectly cooked collard greens, and binging on TV that’s so bad it’s good.

  • Dana Sachs

    Dana Sachs has published two novels, If You Lived Here and The Secret of the Nightingale Palace, and two books of nonfiction, The House on Dream Street: Memoir of an American Woman in Vietnam and The Life We Were Given: Operation Babylift, International Adoption, and the Children of War in Vietnam. Her articles, reviews, and essays have appeared in many publications, including National Geographic, The Wall Street Journal, Travel and Leisure Family, The International Herald Tribune, and Mother Jones, and she was a monthly contributor to Salt Magazine from 2013 to 2020. She is co-founder of the nonprofit Humanity Now, which supports grassroots aid projects for refugees and migrants. In March 2023, Bellevue Literary Press will publish her new nonfiction book, All Else Failed: The Unlikely Volunteers at the Heart of the Migrant Aid Crisis.

  • Ann Cary Simpson

    Ann Cary Simpson is an associate with moss+ross, a Durham firm providing strategic development consulting services, where she has worked with nonprofits throughout the Triangle including Compass Center for Women and Families, the Conservation Trust for NC, the NC Museum of Art, and the UNC Institute for the Environment. While working with moss+ross, Ann also served for four years as Interim Director of NC Catch, a nonprofit organization supporting the work of four local-seafood promotion initiatives from Currituck County to Brunswick County. She is a native of eastern North Carolina and a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Ann has contributed original photography to four UNC Press book collaborations with her husband:  Into the Sound Country (1997) and The Inner Islands (2006), and Little Rivers & Waterway Tales (2015) and North Carolina: Words, Pictures, Music.

  • Bland Simpson

    Bland Simpson is Kenan Distinguished Professor of English & Creative Writing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and has played piano with the Red Clay Ramblers since 1986.  His books include The Great Dismal, The Mystery of Beautiful Nell Cropsey, Into the Sound Country, Ghost Ship of Diamond Shoals, The Coasts of Carolina, Two Captains from Carolina, and Little Rivers & Waterway Tales, and his theatrical collaborations include Diamond StudsHot Grog, Life on the Mississippi, King Mackerel & The Blues Are Running, Cool Spring, Tar Heel Voices, Kudzu, and Fool Moon.  Simpson’s awards include the North Carolina Award for Fine Arts (2005) and NC Humanities’ John Tyler Caldwell Award in the Humanities (2017). He is a 2020 inductee into the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame.

  • Emily Louise Smith

    Emily Louise Smith is the founder and publisher of Lookout Books and its sister magazine, Ecotone. She also directs The Publishing Laboratory in the creative writing department at UNC Wilmington, where she teaches courses including Introduction to Book Publishing, Bookbuilding, Book Marketing and Publicity, Grant Writing, and the Publishing Practicum. Titles published under her leadership have won or been nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the National Book Award, the PEN/Bingham Prize, and the Independent Publisher Book Award, among many others. Her writing appears in BoulevardLiterary Publishing in the Twenty-First Century (Milkweed), and the Southern Review. She recently received the College of Arts & Sciences’ Innovation in Teaching Award, and has been named Wilmington’s Woman of Achievement in the Arts and a finalist for Wilma magazine’s Women to Watch Awards.

  • Brandon Sneed

    Brandon Sneed writes for the New York Times and Sports Illustrated, and has previously written for ESPN, Outside, B/R Mag, GQ, and other publications. He is also the author of Sooner: The Making of a Coach, Head in the Game: The Mental Engineering of the World’s Greatest Athletes, and The Edge of Legend: A Story of Faith and Basketball, as well as the co-author and ghostwriter for several additional books. His work has been recognized multiple times in Best American Sports Writing, and he was a finalist for the Livingston Award.

  • Ed Southern

    Ed Southern is the author of Fight Songs: A Story of Love and Sports in a Complicated South, a finalist for the 2021 SIBA Southern Book Prize in Nonfiction. His stories and essays have appeared in The Bitter Southerner, storySouth, the North Carolina Literary Review, PineStraw, South Writ Large, and elsewhere. Since 2008 he has been the executive director of the North Carolina Writers’ Network.

  • Mary Alice Stewart

    Mary Alice Stewart holds a BA and MFA in Fiction from Bennington College. Her work has appeared in Washington Square Review, Hobart, Maudlin House, The Nervous Breakdown, No Tokens, and elsewhere. An essay of hers has been translated into Italian for Edizioni Black Coffee’s website. She is from Maine. She has worked as an independent editor for four years and an Assistant Agent for Annie DeWitt at The Shipman Agency for three years. Together, Mary Alice and Annie review manuscripts of all forms and genres for representation. Annie DeWitt, in her profile for Poets and Writers, stated “In a nutshell: Write great sentences. Revise like hell. Be fearless. Don’t let the industry tame you.” Mary Alice absolutely agrees.

  • Amber Flora Thomas

    Amber Flora Thomas is the author of three collections of poetry, including Eye of Water, which won the Cave Canem Poetry Prize, The Rabbits Could Sing, and most recently, Red Channel in the Rupture. A recipient of the Dylan Thomas American Poet Prize, the Richard Peterson Prize, and the Ann Stanford Prize, her poetry has appeared in Tin HouseThe New England ReviewCallalooOrion MagazineSaranac Review, and Alaska Quarterly Review, as well as Angles of Ascent: A Norton Anthology of Contemporary African American Poetry, and numerous other journals and anthologies. She is currently an Associate Professor of Creative Writing at East Carolina University in Greenville.

  • Pam Van Dyk

    Pam Van Dyk is the managing editor of Regal House Publishing, and she serves on the Advocacy Committee of the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA). She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Queens University of Charlotte and a PhD in Education Research and Policy Analysis from North Carolina State University. She is the recipient of the 2019 Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Award. A selection of her work has appeared online and in print in the Maine Review, Outrider Press, Flying South, Peregrine, Crack the Spine, Women on Writing, and other literary publications.