Visiting Authors

The English department brings in visiting writers and scholars, who give readings and sometimes lead or sit in on classes.

Terri McCord, Fall 2012
Terri McCord is a communications arts educator through the South Carolina Arts Commission as well as a marketer for not-for-profits and the arts.  She is a juried member of the Southern Arts Federation and is a juried artist member in literary arts as well as visual arts for the Arts Commission. She has won numerous national awards and fellowships in writing, and her visual art is included in many private and museum collections.  McCord is circulating a new volume of poetry entitled Holding the Light.  She earned her MFA from Queens University. Last year she was the Poetry winner for Hub City Press’s annual literary awards.

James McKean, Fall 2012
Jim McKean was born and raised in Seattle, Washington.  A basketball “star” at Washington State University, McKean earned his MFA and PhD in English from the University of Iowa.  He has published two collections of poetry—Headlong and Tree of Heaven—with a third forthcoming.  His collection of essays, Homestand, is based on his life in sports.  McKean teaches Creative Writing and American Literature at Mount Mercy College in Cedar Rapids, IA, and leads summer workshops for the University of Iowa’s summer writing program. He is also a member of the low-residency Creative Writing faculty at Queen’s University in Charlotte, NC.

Elizabeth Spann Craig, Spring 2012
A 1993 alumna of PC, Elizabeth Spann Craig’s business is murder–writing about it, that is. She writes the Myrtle Clover series (Pretty Is as Pretty DiesProgressive Dinner DeadlyA Dyeing Shame) and the upcoming Southern Quilting Mysteries series (Quilt or Innocence will be released in June 2012). As Riley Adams, she writes the Memphis Barbeque Mysteries (Delicious and SuspiciousFinger Lickin’ Dead, and Hickory Smoked Homicide). She tweets @elizabethscraig and keeps a blog about writing and publishing at Mystery Writing is Murder . She also manages, with Mike Fleming, Writer’s Knowledge Base, a search engine for writers to find resources.

Jackie Cooper, Spring 2012
Jackie Cooper writes short fiction and entertainment reviews. Georgia Public Radio often uses Cooper’s short stories as commentary, and he has a weekly column, “The Best is Yet to Be,” about living in the South. He has interviewed a variety of celebrities, including Mark Wahlberg, Matt Damon, Mandy Moore, Jack Black, John Travolta, Nia Vardalos, Will Ferrell, Wanda Sykes, and The Rock. His short-story collections include Journey of a Gentle Southern Man,The BookbinderSunrise Remembers, and Back to the Garden.

Scott Poole, Fall 2011
Scott Poole earned his Ph.D. in American history from the University of Mississippi. His most recent book, Monsters in America: Our Historical Obsession with the Hideous and the Haunting (Baylor UP, 2011—check out the book’s website)examines horror stories across the span of American history, from the colonial era to the present day, illustrating “how the creation of the monstrous ‘other’ not only reflects society’s fears but shapes actual historical behavior and becomes a cultural reminder of inhuman acts.” An associate professor of history at the College of Charleston, Poole teaches courses in South Carolina history, religion in American History and in the Atlantic World, and, of course, monsters in America.

Jack Pendarvis, Fall 2011
The author of one novel, Awesome (2008), and two short-story collections— The Mysterious Secret of the Valuable Treasure(2005) and Your Body is Changing (2007)–Jack explores the world (particularly the South) with hysterical humor. His work has appeared in a variety of places, including McSweeney’sThe New York TimesThe Pushcart Prize AnthologyThe Oxford American, and elsewhere. He also keeps a record of his thoughts at The Place Where Jack Pendarvis Has a “Blog.”

Theresa Starkey, Fall 2011
Theresa teaches English at the University of Mississippi, including courses in American literature and gender theory. She received her PhD in American Studies from Emory University and two BA’s from Georgia State University in History and Film Studies. Her dissertation was titled The Woman on the Scaffold, in which she explored how female American offenders—such as Patty Hearst and Martha Stewart—are represented. Theresa says, “It is the process of rearticulation that I interrogate, the moment that the artist actively participates in the act of mythmaking, an act that transforms (and disfigures) each transgressive woman into a cultural icon.” Accordingly, her research interests include American social and cultural history, American literature, and representations of female offenders and the working-class body in popular culture and film. Her scholarly and creative work has appeared in such places as  PasteMississippi Review, and Georgia Music Magazine. She recently edited Vital Ideas, Vol. 2: Crime for The Great Books Foundation.

Matthew Bernstein, Fall 2010
Matthew has written several books about film, including Screening a Lynching: The Leo Frank Case on Film and Television (2009), John Ford Made Westerns: Filming the Legend in the Sound Era (2001), and Controlling Hollywood: Censorship and Regulation in the Studio Era (1999). In addition, he’s published numerous articles which have appeared in journals such as Film QuarterlyThe Oxford American, and Film History as well as in anthologies like Auteurs and Authorship: A Film Reader20th Century American Fiction on Film, and Film Analysis: A Norton Reader. He has also received prestigious awards, including a National Endowment for the Humanities Independent Scholar Research Fellowship. Since 1989, Matthew has taught film studies at Emory University.

Steve Rhodes, Fall 2009
Steve Rhodes’s first collection of poems, The Time I Didn’t Know What to Do Next, was published in 2008 by Wind Publications. Steve himself says about his poetry,“I want to write in a way that offers hope for people like myself who are more than a little overwhelmed by modern life. I want to be honest about the brokenness that besets us, but I am also looking for beauty in the midst of that brokenness.” His poems have appeared in such journals as The Connecticut ReviewPlainsongsShenandoah, Poetry Midwest, The Kennesaw Review, The Potomac Review, Kudzu, as well as many others.

Patricia Foster, Spring 2009
A nonfiction writer, Patricia Foster has written All the Lost Girls (2000) and Just Beneath My Skin (2004) and has edited Minding the Body: Women Writers on Body and Soul (1994), Sister to Sister (1996), and The Healing Circle (co-edited with Mary Swander, 1998). Her many awards include a Lake Effect Fiction Award, a Florida Arts Council Award, a Yaddo residency, four Alabama Arts & Humanities Awards, and a PEN/Jerard Fund Award for Women’s Nonfiction. She is an associate professor in the MFA Program in Nonfiction at the University of Iowa.

Brad Land, Spring 2008
His first book, Goat: A Memoir, began as Brad Land’s MFA thesis at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and was published in 2004 by Random House. Goat has been translated into several languages and a film version is in pre-production. His second book, the novel Pilgrims Upon the Earth, was published by Random in 2007. Brad’s writing has appeared in various venues, such as GQThird CoastQuarter After EightEcotone, and Rivendell. He was the first featured writer in Amazon.com’s “Writers Under the Influence,” a series of essays from young writers about the books that influenced them the most.

Philip White, Fall 2007
Philip White’s poetry has appeared in numerous venues, including The New Republic, Antioch Review, New England Review, Southern Review, Tar River Poetry, The Journal, Verse Daily, Cumberland Poetry Review, Southeast Review, Cream City Review, Poet Lore, Fine Madness, and elsewhere. He received a Pushcart Prize for his poetry. His collection of poems, The Clearing, won the Walt McDonald First-Book Competition in Poetry for 2007. He is an associate professor of English at Centre College in Danville, KY.

Lisa Williams, Fall 2007
Poet Lisa Williams has received several awards for her poetry, including an Academy of American Poets Prize, a Tennessee Williams Scholarship from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference (1997), a Walter E. Dakin Fellowship (1998), the Rome Prize in Literature awarded by the American Academy of Arts and Letters (2004-2005), and the Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize in 2005. Her first book of poetry, The Hammered Dulcimer, won the May Swenson Poetry Award in 1998, and her second book of poetry, Woman Reading to the Sea, was selected by Joyce Carol Oates for the 2007 Barnard Women Poets Prize, which is given bi-annually for an exceptional collection of poems written by an American woman who has already published one book of poetry. She is an associate professor of English and director of Creative Writing at Centre College.