Dorothy Allison was born in Greenville, South Carolina, and makes her home in Northern California. Her first novel, Bastard Out of Carolina, was a finalist for the National Book Award. Allison’s second novel, Cavedweller, was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, won the 1998 Lambda Literary Award for Fiction, and was a finalist for the Lillian Smith Prize. She is currently working on another novel, She Who.
A.R. Ammons (1926-2001) Ammons published nearly thirty collections of poems, including Bosh and Flapdoodle, Glare, Garbage (National Book Award), A Coast of Trees (National Book Critics Circle Award), Sphere (Bollingen Prize), and Collected Poems 1951-1971 (National Book Award). He received the Poetry Society of America's Robert Frost Medal, the Ruth Lilly Prize, and fellowships from the Guggenheim and MacArthur Foundations. Ammons taught poetry at Cornell University until 1998.
James Applewhite is the recipient of the 2001 Ragan-Rubin Award from the North Carolina English Teacher’s Association, the 1998 Brockman-Campbell Award from the North Carolina Poetry Society, and the 1995 North Carolina Award in Literature. He is a Guggenheim Fellow and received the 1992 American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters Jean Stein Award in Poetry. Applewhite has written numerous books of poetry, including the award winning Daytime and Starlight and, most recently, A Diary of Altered Light.
Richard Bausch has received the O. Henry Prize, the Best American Short Story Prize, and the Award in Literature from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. He is the author of Hello to the Cannibals; Real Presence; Good Evening Mr. & Mrs. America, and All the Ships at Sea; Violence; and Take Me Back. Bausch’s short stories have appeared in Esquire and The New Yorker. His latest work is Thanksgiving Night.
Madison Smartt Bell was born and raised in Tennessee. He is the author of 12 novels including Soldier’s Joy, which received the Lillian Smith Award and All Souls’ Rising, a 1995 National Book Award finalist and winner of the PEN/ Faulkner Award. Bell's most recent books are The Stone That the Builder Refused and Freedom's Gate: A Brief Life of Toussaint Louverture. A graduate of Princeton University and Hollins College, he is Director of the Kratz Center for Creative Writing at Goucher College.
Wendell Berry is a the author of Hannah Coulter, A Place on Earth, Remembering, Fidelity, The Memory of Old Jack, A World Lost, and Jayber Crow. His story collections include The Way of Ignorance and Blessed Are the Peacemakers. Among his essay books are The Unforeseen Wilderness, Another Turn of the Crank, What Are People For?, Life is a Miracle, and The Unsettling of America, which became a manual for the conservation movement. He has received Rockefeller and Guggenheim fellowships and has received the Aiken Taylor Award for Modern American Poetry.