Panelists and Speakers

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Panelists and Speakers
Exodus Oktavia Brownlow

Exodus Oktavia Brownlow

Exodus Oktavia Brownlow is a Blackhawk, MS native. She is a graduate of Mississippi Valley State University with a BA in English, and Mississippi University for Women with an MFA in Creative Writing. Exodus has been published or has forthcoming work with Electric Lit, West Branch, Denver Quarterly, F(r)iction, and more. She has been nominated for Best of The Net, Best MicroFiction, Best Small Fictions, and a Pushcart Prize. Her piece "Chicken-Girls and Chicken-Ladies and All the Possibility of Pillowcases” will be included in Best MicroFiction 2022. Her debut fiction chapbook—"Look at All The Little Hurts of These Newly-Broken Lives and The Bittersweet, Sweet and Bitter Loves"—is set for publication with Ethel Zine and Press in April 2023.

See Brownlow on a panel in the Fant Memorial Library Thursday, April 21 from 4–5:15pm.

Susan Sojourna Collier

Susan-Sojourna Collier

Susan-Sojourna Collier is a screenwriter and playwright with extensive teaching experience at Georgia State University, Clark Atlanta University, Abu Dhabi Women’s College in the UAE and the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Her writing credits include All My Children and One Life to Live on ABC; Through My Lens: A Study of Bullying in Atlanta; Conflict of Interest on Aspire TV Network; Switching Lanes on Urban TV Network; and Charge It to the Game: Rippling Effects of Gun Violence in Brooklyn. She has also worked as freelance television producer with clients including NBC/Bravo Television, Women in Film (Los Angeles), the Brooklyn district attorney’s office and Al Roker Productions. For more please visit: www.susansojournacollier.com.

See Collier give a craft talk in the Fant Memorial Library Friday, April 22 from 10:30–11:45am, Session A.

Ellen Ann Fentress

Ellen Ann Fentress

Ellen Ann Fentress teaches creative nonfiction writing in the Mississippi University for Women’s low-residency MFA program in creative writing. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Atlantic, Oxford American and Bitter Southerner. Her documentary of iconic civil-rights journalist Bill Minor, Eyes on Mississippi, has screened at venues across the U.S.

See Fentress give a craft talk in the Fant Memorial Library Friday, April 22 from 9–10:15am, Session B.

Becky Hagenston

Becky Hagenston

Becky Hagenston is the author of four award-winning story collections: The Age of Discovery and Other Stories, Scavengers, Strange Weather, and A Gram of Mars. Her work has appeared in Ploughshares, The Oxford American, New England Review, Southern Review, and many other journals. Her stories have been chosen for a Pushcart Prize and twice for an O. Henry Award. She is a professor of English at Mississippi State University.

See Hagenston give a craft talk in the Fant Memorial Library Friday, April 22 from 4–5:15pm, Session A.

Kyla Hanington

Kyla Hanington

Kyla Hanington is a Canadian writer now living in Maryland. Her work has been broadcast internationally on CBC Radio's The Sunday Edition and has appeared in newspapers and magazines such as Jabberwock Review, Drum Literary Magazine, University Affairs, Mothering, and more. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Mississippi University for Women and recently completed a collection of short fiction. She likes to ride her bike and look at birds.

See Brownlow on a panel in the Fant Memorial Library Thursday, April 21 from 4–5:15pm.

Alec Hawkins

Alec Hawkins

Alec Hawkins is an Eastern Orthodox Christian and high school art teacher who writes horror fiction and apologetics. A graduate of the Mississippi University for Women’s MFA in Creative Writing program, his essays appear in Ad Lucem and Death to the World. His latest occult thriller is published in the anthology, Step Into the Fifth Dimension (2021).

See Hawkins on a panel in the Fant Memorial Library Thursday, April 21 from 4–5:15pm.

Michael Kardos

Michael Kardos

Michael Kardos is the author of the novels Bluff, Before He Finds Her, and The Three-Day Affair, an Esquire best book of the year, as well as the story collection One Last Good Time, which won the Mississippi Institute of Arts & Letters Award for fiction, and the textbook The Art and Craft of Fiction: A Writer’s Guide. His short stories have appeared in One Story, The Southern Review, Crazyhorse, and many other magazines and anthologies, and have won two Pushcart Prizes. Michael co-directs the creative writing program at Mississippi State University, where he received the Grisham Master Teacher award, the university's highest teaching honor.

See Kardos give a craft talk in the Fant Memorial Library Friday, April 22 from 9–10:15am, Session A.

Mary Miller

Mary Miller

Mary Miller is the author of the novels Biloxi (Liveright 2019) and The Last Days of California (Liveright 2014) as well as two short story collections, Always Happy Hour (Liveright 2017) and Big World (SF/LD 2009). Her fiction has appeared in The Paris Review, Pushcart Prize XLIV, the Oxford American, Mississippi Review, American Short Fiction, and many others. She is a former John and Renee Grisham writer-in-residence at the University of Mississippi (2014–15) and a graduate of the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas. 

See Miller give a craft talk in the Fant Memorial Library Friday, April 22 from 1–2:15pm, Session A.

Thomas B Richardson

Thomas Richardson

Thomas Richardson is currently an English instructor at the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science. Born in Raleigh, N.C., and raised in Columbus, Miss., Richardson earned a bachelor’s degree from Millsaps College, a master’s degree in theological studies from Vanderbilt University, and an M.A. in teaching and an M.F.A. in creative writing from the Mississippi University for Women. He has served as an editor for Ponder Review and Dirty Paws Poetry Review. He lives in Columbus with his wife Hillary and son Emmett. His website is thomasbrichardson.com. His debut poetry collection, How To Read is out now from Friendly City Books.

See Richardson on a panel in the Fant Memorial Library Thursday, April 21 from 4–5:15pm, also see Richardson on a panel Saturday, April 23 from 9–10:15am.

C.T. Salazar

C.T. Salazar

C. T. Salazar is a Latinx poet and librarian from Mississippi. He's the author of a Headless John the Baptist Hitchhiking (Acre Books 22). He's the author of three chapbooks, most recently American Cavewall Sonnets (Bull City Press), and the 2020 recipient of the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award in poetry. His poems have appeared in The Rumpus, West Branch, Cincinnati Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Pleiades, 32 Poems, Denver Quarterly Review, and elsewhere. C.T. is currently a tenure track librarian at Delta State University. 

See Salazar give a craft talk in the Fant Memorial Library Friday, April 22 from 2:30–3:45pm, Session A, also see Salazer on a panel Saturday, April 23 from 9–10:15am.

Jacqueline Allen Trimble

Jacqueline Allen Trimble

Jacqueline Allen Trimble lives and writes in Montgomery, Alabama. She is a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellow, a Cave Canem Fellow, and an Alabama State Council on the Arts Literary Fellow. American Happiness, her debut collection (NewSouth Books, 2016), won the Balcones Poetry Prize. Her work has appeared in various online and print publications including The Griot, The Offing, The Blue Lake Review, and most recently Poetry Magazine from the Poetry Foundation. Her second collection, How To Survive The Apocalypse, is out now from NewSouth Books.

See Trimble on a panel in the Fant Memorial Library Saturday, April 23 from 9–10:15am.