RALPH ADAMO has taught at Xavier since 2007. He is the author of six books of poetry, most recently Waterblind: New & Selected Poems. He won a Louisiana Endowment for the Arts (1998), National Endowment for the Arts (2003), the first Marble Faun Prize for Poetry (1997),an Open Society Institute's Katrina Media Grant (2006). He has edited New Orleans Review (1993-99),Barataria Review (1978-80),and now Xavier Review. He graduated from University of Arkansas MFA in 1974.
ASHLEA ADAMS is a freelance writer and graduate student at the University of West Florida. She was born in Hopkinsville, KY, and spent her childhood persuading others that there was (and is) in fact a dragon on the moon. This love for the fantastic has led to her passion for Speculative Fiction today. When she’s not staying up too late writing or reading, she is usually chasing down her two sons. Her latest short story “Poppies” is available in "MCSI: Magical Crime Scene Investigation." You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @ashleanadams.
LYNNE BARRETT’s third story collection Magpies received the Florida Book Awards fiction gold medal. Her handbook What Editors Want guides writers through the submissions process, and her recent fiction and nonfiction can be found in Necessary Fiction, Mystery Tribune, The Miami Rail, The Southern Women’s Review, Fort Lauderdale Magazine, and Just to Watch Them Die: Crime Stories Inspired by the Songs of Johnny Cash. A recipient of the Edgar Award for best mystery story, Barrett teaches in the MFA program at Florida International University and is editor of The Florida Book Review.
SARAH BASIL is an MFA candidate in Nonfiction at the University of South Florida. Her work appears or is forthcoming in The Fourth River, Electric Literature, Water~Stone Review, and others. She is the founding nonfiction editor for Every Pigeon, an online literary journal, and currently serves as a Guest Editor for The Florida Review's upcoming feature on erasure works. Right now, Sarah is finishing her first book, a fragmented memoir.
RANDY BATES's credits include a book of nonfiction, Rings: On the Life and Family of a Southern Fighter (FSG), a poetry chapbook, Dolphin Island (Finishing Line Press), and fellowships from the NEA and the Louisiana Arts Council. He has work just out or forthcoming in the Apalachee Review and the Chattahoochee Review and publications in Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, Grand Street, the Southern Review, the Boston Globe, and the Los Angeles Times. He teaches at the University of New Orleans, where he is nonfiction editor of Bayou Magazine.
JESSICA BORSI is an MFA Candidate in Fiction at Florida International University and normally lives in the Panhandle with a donkey. She writes reviews for Florida Book Review, and her lyric essay on science fiction can be found in So To Speak.
CARLYN BYRD studies music performance at the University of North Florida and is a part of the Neuroscience club. Carlyn graduated from Tarpon Springs High School in 2017, Magna Cum Laude. She is the recipient of the Helen Ellis Memorial Scholarship for music. She has received superior ratings at county and state level Music Performance Assessments. Byrd also participated in Pinellas Youth Symphony from 2011-2017. She has an interest in how music affects the brain. She has worked with children who have had chronic illnesses as part of Music for Medicine. Carlyn has played with Pinellas Park Civic Orchestra, South Shores Symphony Orchestra, and the Florida Orchestra.
GREG BYRD is the winner of the 2018 Robert Phillips Chapbook prize from the Texas Review Press. That chapbook, The Name of the God Who Speaks, comes out May 2019. His poems have appeared in a variety of journals such as Tampa Review, Cortland Review and Poeteka (Albania, in translation). He is the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship, a Pushcart nomination and an Individual Artist Grant from Creative Pinellas. A chapter from his WWI flying novel manuscript, Where Shadow Meets Water, appears in the current issue of Apalachee Review. Greg teaches writing and literature at St. Petersburg College.
CASEY CLAGUE is an MFA student at the University of South Florida and Assistant Poetry Editor for Sweet: A Literary Confection. Critical and creative work has appeared or is forthcoming in Action, Spectacle; Flock; Permafrost; Gravel; and elsewhere.
JONATHAN FINK is the author of two poetry collections: The Crossing (Dzanc, 2015) and Barbarossa: The German Invasion of the Soviet Union and the Siege of Leningrad (Dzanc, 2016). His poems have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Poetry, New England Review, TriQuarterly, Slate, The Southern Review, and Virginia Quarterly Review, among other publications. He has received the Editors’ Prize in Poetry from The Missouri Review and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs. Jonathan is Professor and Director of Creative Writing at the University of West Florida, where he also edits Panhandler Magazine and Panhandler Books.
JAMES M. HILGARTNER is a Professor of English at Huntingdon College. He has published in a number of literary journals, and has twice been awarded the Fellowship in Literature from the Alabama State Council on the Arts. Since 2015 he has served as Fiction Editor of THAT Literary Review.
SKYE JACKSON was born and raised in New Orleans. She holds an English degree from LSU and a degree in law from Mississippi College School of Law. She is currently an MFA candidate in poetry at the University of New Orleans Creative Writing Workshop where she works with Bayou Magazine. She also serves as co-editor for the upcoming edition of The Portable Boog Reader. Her work has appeared in the Delta Literary Journal and Thought Catalog. Her debut chapbook is forthcoming in May 2019 from Antenna.
SWISS MCCALL is a first year graduate student at the University of New Orleans, pursuing her Master’s of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing with a concentration in poetry. She has been writing poetry since age 8 and performing her pieces since the age of 14, but spent her college years being trained in business and logistics. After working two years at The Boeing Company, she decided to change the trajectory of her career and pursue her passion for writing. Swiss won an NAACP award in the category of original oratory, and has also performed her spoken word several times at the Apollo theatre in Harlem, NY. She aspires to teach literature and creative writing on a collegiate level, and to create as many literary works as her imagination will allow.
J. R. MILLER was born and raised in the blue-collar suburbs of Detroit. After a career designing and copywriting for a large advertising agency in metro Detroit, he moved to Florida where he received his MFA in Creative Writing from the University of South Florida. He is the author of Nobody’s Looking (ELJ Editions 2015). His work also appears in The Good Men Project, Midwestern Gothic, Palooka, Writers Tribe Review, Portland Review, Prime Number and others.
Both poet and visual artist, ALLAN PETERSON is the author of five previous poetry collections and is a recipient of fellowships from The National Endowment for the Arts and the State of Florida. His second book, All the Lavish in Common, won the Juniper Prize from the University of Massachusetts. His third, Fragile Acts, from McSweeney’s, was a finalist for both The National Book Critics Circle and Oregon Book Awards.
MICHAEL PIAFSKY is the Chair of Creative Writing and Professor of English at Spring Hill College, in Mobile, AL. He is the author of the novel, All The Happiness You Deserve and has been published in The Missouri Review, Normal School, Echo, Jabberwock Review and elsewhere.
KATHERINE RIEGEL's newest collection of poetry, Love Songs from the End of the World, is forthcoming from Main Street Rag Publishing in summer or fall 2019. She is also the author of two books of poetry: What the Mouth Was Made For and Castaway. Her book of flash cnf/prose poems, Letters to Colin Firth, won the 2015 Sundress Publications Chapbook Competition. She received her MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and has taught writing at various colleges, most recently the University of South Florida. Her work has appeared in numerous publications, including Brevity, The Offing, Orion, Poets.org, Tin House, and The Rumpus. She is co-founder and poetry editor for Sweet Lit. Currently she teaches online classes in poetry and creative nonfiction and lives in Memphis.
MARY JANE RYALS has written a short story collection A Messy Job. She won the YellowJacket chapbook contest with Music in Arabic. She also has a collection of poetry, The Moving Waters, a textbook, Getting into the Intercultural Groove, and a novel, Cookie and Me, forthcoming in October, 2010. She also edited the poetry anthology North of Wakulla, and is fiction editor of Apalachee Review. She teaches Business Communication at Florida State University.
MICHAEL TRAMMELL's novel Rad Sick Record is forthcoming this year from Hysterical Books Press. He's currently the Advisory & Managing Editor of the Apalachee Review and teaches business writing and speech delivery at Florida State University. Additionally, he's taught in England, Spain, and Italy for FSU's International Programs.
M.O. WALSH is the author of the story collection The Prospect of Magic, which won the Tartt's Fiction Prize, and the novel My Sunshine Away which was a New York Times Bestseller and won the Pat Conroy Book Award for Southern Fiction. He currently directs the Creative Writing Workshop at the University of New Orleans.
CARMIN WONG is a Guyanese-born poet and playwright, currently studying Creative Writing Poetry at the University of New Orleans Creative Writing Workshop. Wong is a May 2018 graduate of Howard University, where she earned her B.A. in English and Playwriting; therefore, she urges that language must be understood as both communication and warfare. Often incorporating heavy dialect, she aims to toy with variations of English vernacular. Wong has competed in numerous poetry slams at Lincoln Center, the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, and performed in venues like Scholastic Auditorium and The Apollo Theater. Her monologue, “3 Generations,” was staged in the 2018 Women’s Voices Theater Festival and her poetry can be found minimally printed elsewhere.
JESSICA GUZMAN ALDERMAN's work appears or is forthcoming in Pleiades, Ecotone, Copper Nickel, The Florida Review, and elsewhere. Her honors include American Literary Review’s 2017 Poetry Award and Harpur Palate's 2017 Milton Kessler Memorial Prize for Poetry. A doctoral student at the University of Southern Mississippi, she reads for Memorious.
TAD BARTLETT is a fiction writer, essayist, and recovering poet. He was born in Ankara, Turkey; raised in Selma, Alabama; and married into New Orleans, Louisiana. Tad received his undergraduate degrees in theater and creative writing from Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama; a JD from Tulane University; and, to make up for the law degree, an MFA in fiction from the Creative Writing Workshop at the University of New Orleans, where he was a reader for Bayou magazine. He is now the Managing Editor of the Peauxdunque Review. His creative non-fiction has been Pushcart-nominated and named a “notable” essay by Best American Essays 2017, and has appeared in The Chautauqua Literary Journal, The Bitter Southerner, The Writing Disorder, and the online Oxford American. His fiction has been published by The Baltimore Review, Carolina Quarterly, Stockholm Review of Literature, Bird’s Thumb, and many others.
2020 Keynote Speaker: Carolyn Haines
Carolyn Haines has received the Harper Lee Award for distinguished Alabama writer of the year (2010), the Richard Wright Award for Literary Excellence (2009), and in 2019 the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Alabama Library Asscoation. She is the best-selling author of the Sarah Booth Delaney series of mystery novels (20 and counting, all with Bones in the title), the Pluto's Snitch series, centering on detective partners in Northern Mississippi who specialize in hauntings, possessions and the occult, and many other books. Her short stories and essays have appeared in many anthologies including Growing Up in Mississippi, Florida Heat Wave, and Christmas in the South, and she edited the anthology Delta Blues. Haines grew up in Mississippi, began her career as a journalist, and taught at the University of South Alabama. Learn more here.
Past Keynote Speakers
The 2019 Keynote was presented by YOLANDA J. FRANKLIN, author of Blood Vinyls, her debut collection of poetry that Roxane Gay insists is a “must-must-must read.” Franklin is two-time Fulbright Scholar Award Finalist, a Cave Canem and Callaloo Fellow, and a recipient of a 2016-17 McKnight Dissertation Fellowship and a Kingsbury writing award. Franklin is a Visiting Assistant Professor at the 2017 Forbes Magazine #1 ranked HBCU, Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University where she teaches Writing Across the Curriculum certified courses and has been nominated for a Teaching Innovation Award. Her poems appear in the current issue or are forthcoming in the following journals: Hayden’s Ferry Review, Southern Humanities Review, and The Apalachee Review. Her poetry also appears in the recent anthology It Was Written: Poetry Inspired by Hip-Hop and is a two-time recipient of a J.M. Shaw Academy of American Poets Award. Franklin is a third generation Floridian, born in the state’s capital— Tallahassee.
PHILLIPPE DIEDERICH is the author of the novels “Playing for the Devil’s Fire” (Cinco Puntos Press, 2016), which was named the 2017 Best Young Adult novel by the Texas Institute of Letters and 2017 Young Adult Library Services Association Best Fiction for Young Adults; and “Sofrito” (Cinco Puntos Press, 2015).
His short fiction has been published in national literary journals including Quarterly West, Acentos Review, Burrow Press, Hobart and others. In 2017 he was awarded the PEN Phyllis Naylor Working Writer Fellowship. He is the recipient of the Chris O’Malley Prize for Fiction from the Madison Review, an Elizabeth George Foundation Grant, a Florida Individual Artist Fellowship in Literature from the Florida Department of Cultural Affairs, and a John Ringling Towers Grant in Literature from the Sarasota County Artist Alliance.
The son of Haitian exiles, Diederich was born in the Dominican Republic and raised in Mexico City and Miami. During the 1990’s he worked as a photojournalist, covering news and feature assignments in the U.S. and Latin America for national publications.
Terri Carrión was conceived in Venezuela and born in New York to a Galician mother and Cuban father. She earned her MFA from Florida International University. Her poetry, fiction, non-fiction and photography have been published in various countries in many print magazines as well as online, including The Cream City Review, Hanging Loose, Pearl, Penumbra, Exquisite Corpse, Mangrove, Kick Ass Review, Exquisite Corpse, Jack, Mipoesia, Dead Drunk Dublin, and Physik Garden among others. Her chapbook Lazy Tongue was published by D Press in the summer of 2007. Her translation projects include the translation with Carmen Gloria Berrios, of the project “Poetry in Transit”, a citywide, visual poetry exhibit in public spaces in Santiago, Chile.
Michael Rothenberg's most recent books of poetry include Sapodilla (Editions du Cygne, Paris, France) and Drawing The Shade (Dos Madres Press). A bi-lingual edition of Indefinite Detention: A Dog Story and the journal collection Tally Ho and the Cowboy Dream/The Real and False Journals: Book 5 will be published by Varasek Ediciones (Madrid, Spain) in 2017. An Arabic edition of Indefinite Detention: A Dog Story is due out from Sefsafa Publishing House.