Home : Coed Graduate Programs : Creative Writing : Writers-in-Residence

Hollins University
Graduate Center
PO Box 9603
Roanoke, VA 24020-1603
(540) 362-6575
(540) 362-6288 (Fax)


The Tribal Knot Rebecca McClanahan is the Louis D. Rubin, Jr. Writer-in-Residence for 2015. Her tenth book, The Tribal Knot, a multi-generational memoir, was published by Indiana University Press in 2013. She has also published five books of poetry and a suite of essays, The Riddle Song and Other Rememberings, winner of the Glasgow prize in nonfiction. Her three books of writing instruction include Word Painting: A Guide to Writing More Descriptively, which is used as a text in numerous writing programs and will be re-released in a 15th anniversary edition in November 2014. McClanahan’s work has appeared in The Best American Poetry, The Best American Essays, The Pushcart Prize series, Kenyon Review, Georgia Review, Gettysburg Review, Boulevard, The Sun, and in anthologies published by Beacon Press, Norton, Doubleday, St. Martin's, Putnam, Penguin, Simon & Schuster, Scribner, and numerous other publishers. McClanahan earned a B.A. from California State University and master's and Ph.D. degrees from University of South Carolina. For 15 years she was Poet-in-Residence for Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools in North Carolina, where she received the Governor's Award for Excellence in Education. Rebecca McClanahan
Surrendered Child Karen Salyer McElmurray M.A. '89, was the Louis D. Rubin, Jr. Writer-in-Residence for 2014. Her memoir, Surrendered Child: A Birth Mother’s Journey, was an AWP Award Winner for Creative Nonfiction. Her novels are The Motel of the Stars, Editor’s Pick by Oxford American, and Strange Birds in the Tree of Heaven, winner of the Chaffin Award for Appalachian Writing. Other stories and essays have appeared in Iron Horse, Kenyon Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, and Riverteeth, and in the anthologies An Angle of Vision; To Tell the Truth; Fearless Confessions; Listen Here; Dirt; Family Trouble; and Red Holler. Her writing has been supported by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the North Carolina Arts Council, and the Kentucky Foundation for Women. Most recently, her essay, "Strange Tongues," was the recipient of the Annie Dillard Award from The Bellingham Review. McElmurray holds a master of arts degree in creative writing from Hollins, a master of fine arts degree in fiction writing from the University of Virginia, and a doctorate from the University of Georgia. Karen Salyer McElmurray
Centerville Karen Osborn '79 was the Louis D. Rubin, Jr. Writer-in-Residence for 2013. She is the author of four novels: Patchwork, Between Earth and Sky, The River Road, and Centerville. She was awarded a 2013 Independent Publisher Book Award (IPPY) for Centerville. Her poetry and stories have appeared in journals nationwide, including The Southern Review, Kansas Quarterly, Clapboard House, Poet Lore, Wisconsin Review, New England Watershed, and The Centennial Review. Her grants and awards include fellowships from the Kentucky Arts Council and the Kentucky Foundation for Women, and a Notable Book of the Year Award from The New York Times. Karen Osborn
Beyond Katrina Natasha Trethewey was the Louis D. Rubin, Jr. Writer-in-Residence for 2012. In June 2012 Trethewey was named Poet Laureate for 2012-13 (reappointed for 2013-14) by the Library of Congress. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the Lillian Smith Award for her collection Native Guard, Trethewey is the author of two previous poetry collections, Bellocq's Ophelia, and Domestic Work. Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast was published in fall 2010. Her numerous grants and awards include fellowships from the NEA, the Bunting Institute, the Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, and Bellagio, The Rockefeller Foundation. In January 2012, she was named Poet Laureate of Mississippi. She is professor of English and the Phillis Wheatley Distinguished Chair in Poetry at Emory University in Atlanta. She received her B.A., University of Georgia, M.A., Hollins College, M.F.A., University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
Trethewey was profiled in the October/November issue of Garden & Gun magazine.
Natasha Trethewey
So Late, So Soon Carol Moldaw was the Louis D. Rubin, Jr. Writer-in-Residence for 2011. She is the author of five books of poetry, including So Late, So Soon: New and Selected Poems; The Lightning Field, winner of the FIELD Poetry Prize; Through the Window; Chalkmarks on Stone; and Taken from the River. She has also penned a lyrical novel, The Widening. Moldaw’s work has been published widely in journals, including Agni, Conjunctions, The Drunken Boat, Field, Kenyon Review, The New Republic, The New Yorker, Paris Review, Parnassus, Partisan Review, Santa Fe Poetry Broadside, The Threepenny Review, and Triquarterly. The recipient of a Lannan Foundation Marfa Writer’s Residency, an NEA Creative Writing Fellowship, and a Pushcart Prize, Moldaw has taught for many writing conferences and university programs, including Stonecoast, the University of Southern Maine’s low residency M.F.A. program, and the M.F.A. program at Naropa University. She lives in Pojoaque, New Mexico. Carol Moldaw
Confessions of a Taoist on Wall Street David Payne was the Louis D. Rubin, Jr. Writer-in-Residence for 2010. He is the author of five critically acclaimed novels, including Confessions of a Taoist on Wall Street, winner of the Houghton Mifflin Literary Fellowship Award, Ruin Creek, and Back to Wando Passo, which Pat Conroy describes as “so bold in the concept and audacious in scope that it seems like the summing up and exclamation point of a great writer’s career.” Payne – who has written for The Washington Post, The Oxford American, and the Paris daily, Libération – is currently finishing a memoir titled Barefoot to Avalon, about his relationship with his bipolar brother. David Payne
Kelly Cherry was the Louis D. Rubin, Jr. Writer-in-Residence for 2009. She is the author of seven books of fiction (most recently We Can Still Be Friends), as well as seven books of poems (including Hazard and Prospect: New and Selected Poems) and three of literary nonfiction. Another book of essays, Girl in a Library, and a new collection of poems, The Retreats of Thought, are due out soon. The recipient of many grants and awards for both her poetry and her prose, she has held named chairs and distinguished visiting writer positions at a number of universities.
In 2011, Cherry was named Virginia's Poet Laureate by Gov. Bob McDonnell.
Kelly Cherry
Christine Schutt '70 was the Louis D. Rubin, Jr. Writer-in-Residence at Hollins for 2008. Her novel, All Souls, was published in April 2008. Her first novel, Florida, was a finalist for the 2004 National Book Award in Fiction. Nightwork, a short-story collection, was chosen by poet John Ashbery as the best book of 1996 for the Times Literary Supplement, and a second collection, A Day, A Night, Another Day, Summer, was published by Northwestern University Press in 2005 to wide acclaim. Schutt’s other honors include a Pushcart Prize and an O. Henry Short Story Prize. Christine Schutt
On Long Mountain Elizabeth Seydel Morgan '60 was the 2007 Louis D. Rubin, Jr. Writer-in-Residence. She is the author of four books of poetry, including On Long Mountain, a finalist for the Library of Virginia Poetry Prize in 1998. Her book of poems, Without a Philosophy, was published by LSU Press in 2007. Recently awarded the Carole Weinstein Poetry Prize, Morgan also won the Emily Clark Balch Award from The Virginia Quarterly Review for her fiction, and the Governor’s Award for Screenwriting at the Virginia Film Festival. Elizabeth Seydel Morgan
The Road to Somewhere James Dodson was the 2006 Louis D. Rubin, Jr. Writer-in-Residence. A writer of memoir, biography, and literary journalism, he is a regular columnist for Golf Magazine and was an editor for Departures Magazine. A former senior writer for the Atlanta Journal and Constitution Sunday Magazine and Yankee Magazine, his public affairs and political writing has won numerous national awards. He is the author of Final Rounds, Faithful Travelers, A Golfer's Life, The Dewsweepers, The Road to Somewhere, and Ben Hogan: An American Life.
James Dodson
Hat on a Pond Poet Dara Wier was the 2005 Louis D. Rubin, Jr. Writer-in-Residence. She directs the M.F.A. program for poets and writers at the University of Massachusetts. Her work has received grants from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, and has been included in recent volumes of Best American Poetry and The Pushcart Prize Anthology. The American Poetry Review awarded her the Jerome Shestack Prize in 2001. Dara Wier
Fallom's Secret Denise Giardina was the 2004 Louis D. Rubin, Jr. Writer-in-Residence. She has published five novels and is a recipient of a creative writing fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Her second novel, Storming Heaven, was a Discovery Selection of the Book of the Month Club. Her fifth, Fallam's Secret, was published in 2011. Denise Giardina
Shell Shaker LeAnne Howe was the 2003 Louis D. Rubin, Jr. Writer-in-Residence. Her first novel, Shell Shaker, was the winner of an American Book Award. A member of the Chocktaw Nation of Oklahoma, she is also a poet and playwright, as well as an American Indian literature scholar. LeAnne Howe
The Colony of Unrequited Dreams Novelist Wayne Johnston was the 2002 Louis D. Rubin, Jr. Writer-in-Residence. He is the author of five novels, including The Divine Ryans, and The Colony of Unrequited Dreams, which was nominated for the Giller Prize and the Governor's Award in Canada. Wayne Johnston
Crossing to Sunlight Poet Paul Zimmer was the 2001 Louis D. Rubin, Jr. Writer-in-Residence. He is the author of many volumes of poetry, including Big Blue Train, The Great Bird of Love, and Crossing to Sunlight: Selected Poems. Paul Zimmer
  A listing of Writers-in-Residence from 1961 - present