Stokes Center for Creative Writing

The Stokes Center enhances the English department’s offerings in creative writing by sponsoring readings, lectures, forums, community projects, and other events that are free and open to the public. It also supports students through its undergraduate and graduate awards in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. The Stokes Center is committed to fostering a vibrant writers’ community in Southern Alabama, one that not only showcases both local and national talent, but also provides a meeting place for writers from around the world.

Visiting Writers Series

The University of South Alabama has been host to many distinguished authors and scholars over the years, including Margaret Atwood, Charles Bernstein, Jack Gilbert, Marjorie Perloff, Marge Piercy, W. D. Snodgrass, Diane Wakoski, Edward O. Wilson, and Yevgeny Yevtushenko. Now part of the Stokes Center, the Visiting Writers Series brings emerging and established authors to campus for readings and craft talks throughout the year.

All events are free and open to the public.  Parking passes are available at the events.

Frank HeadshotRebecca Morgan Frank - Tuesday, October 18, 2016, 4pm

Rebecca Morgan Frank is the author of two collections of poetry, The Spokes of Venus (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2016) and Little Murders Everywhere (Salmon, 2012), shortlisted for the 2013 Kate Tufts Discovery Award. Her third collection, Sometimes We’re All Living in a Foreign Country, is forthcoming from Carnegie Mellon in 2017. Her poems have appeared in such places as Ploughshares, New England Review, Harvard Review, Literary Imagination, Guernica, The Guardian, Best New Poets 2008, Poetry Daily, and Verse Daily. She is the recipient of fellowships from such places as the Virginia Center for Creative Arts and the Sewanee Writers' Conference, and she received the Poetry Society of America’s Alice Fay di Castagnola Award for her next manuscript-in-progress. Born in Charlottesville, Virginia, Rebecca Morgan Frank received her MFA from Emerson College, and her PhD from the University of Cincinnati. The co-founder and editor-in-chief of the online literary magazine Memorious, Frank is the Jacob Ziskind Poet-in-Residence at Brandeis University.

Please note:  this event will be held in the USA Archaeology Museum.  [PHOTO CREDIT: Betty Press]

Mackey HeadshotNathaniel Mackey - Tuesday, November 1, 2016, 4pm

Nathaniel Mackey was born in Miami, Florida, in 1947, and grew up, from age four, in California. He is the author of five chapbooks of poetry, including Outlantish (Chax Press, 1992), and Four for Glenn (Chax Press, 2002); five books of poetry, including Eroding Witness (University of Illinois Press, 1985), and Splay Anthem (New Directions, 2006); and an ongoing prose work, From a Broken Bottle Traces of Perfume Still Emanate, of which four volumes have been published: Bedouin Hornbook (Callaloo Fiction Series, 1986; second edition: Sun & Moon Press, 1997), Djbot Baghostus’s Run (Sun & Moon Press, 1993), Atet A.D. (City Lights Books, 2001), and Bass Cathedral (New Directions, 2008). He is also the editor of the literary magazine Hambone and coeditor, with Art Lange, of the anthology Moment’s Notice: Jazz in Poetry and Prose (Coffee House Press, 1993). His awards and honors include the selection of Eroding Witness for publication in the National Poetry Series, a Whiting Writer’s Award in 1993, election to the Board of Chancellors of the Academy of American Poets in 2001, the National Book Award for Splay Anthemin 2006, an Artist’s Grant from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts in 2007, a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2010, and The Bollingen Prize in 2015. He lives in Durham, North Carolina, and teaches at Duke University, where he is the Reynolds Price Professor of English.

Please note:  this event will be held in the USA Archaeology Museum.  [PHOTO CREDIT: Unknown]

Gaillard / Suk HeadshotPoetry Salon with Frye Gaillard and Julie Suk - Thursday, November 10, 2017, 4pm

Frye Gaillard, Writer in Residence at the University of South Alabama, is the author of more than 20 books about Southern race relations, politics, and culture. Among his best-known titles are Cradle of Freedom: Alabama and the Movement That Changed America, Watermelon Wine: Remembering the Golden Years of Country Music, and The Books That Mattered: A Reader’s Memoir. His latest work is Go South to Freedom, a historical novel for young readers.

Julie Suk is an award-winning poet, born and raised in Mobile, AL and now living in Charlotte, NC. She is the author of six volumes of poetry, including The Angel of Obsession, published by the University of Arkansas Press, The Dark Takes Aim and Lie Down With Me, both published by Autumn House Press, and her most recent, Astonished to Wake, published by Jacar Press of Durham, NC.

Please note:  this event will be held in the USA Archaeology Museum.  [PHOTO CREDIT: Unknown]

Brodak HeadshotMolly Brodak - Monday, February 20, 2017, 4pm

Molly Brodak is the author of A Little Middle of the Night, winner of the 2009 Iowa Poetry Prize, along with three chapbooks of poetry and Bandit: a Daughter's Memoir from Grove Atlantic. Her work has appeared in Granta, PEN America, Guernica, Kenyon Review, and Best American Nonrequired Reading.

Please note:  this event will be held in the USA Archaeology Museum.  [PHOTO CREDIT: Unknown]

Fennelly / Franklin HeadshotBeth Ann Fennelly and Tom Franklin - Monday, March 6, 2017, 4pm

Beth Ann Fennelly directs the MFA Program at the University of Mississippi. She has published three full-length poetry books (Open House, Tender Hooks, and Unmentionables) and a book of nonfiction (Great with Child) all with W. W. Norton. She also writes essays on travel, culture, and design for Country Living, Southern Living, AFAR, Garden and Gun, The Oxford American, and others. The Tilted World, the novel she co-authored with her husband, Tom Franklin, published in 2013 (HarperCollins), is an Indie Next pick and has been translated into five languages.

USA alum Tom Franklin is the New York Times bestselling author of Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter (2010), which won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the Crime Writers' Association's Gold Dagger Award. His previous works include Poachers: Stories (1999), Hell at the Breech (2003), and Smonk (2006).  Winner of a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Willie Morris Prize for Southern Fiction, and the Alabama Library Award for Fiction, Franklin teaches at the University of Mississippi.

Please note:  Beth Ann Fennelly and Tom Franklin will be appearing together at this event, which will be held in the Marx Library Auditorium.  [PHOTO CREDITS: Unknown]

Lee HeadshotJanice Lee - Wednesday, April 12, 2017, 4pm

Janice Lee is the author of KEROTAKIS (Dog Horn Press, 2010), Daughter (Jaded Ibis, 2011), Damnation (Penny-Ante Editions, 2013), Reconsolidation (Penny-Ante Editions, 2015), and The Sky Isn’t Blue (Civil Coping Mechanisms, 2016). She also has several chapbooks: Red Trees, Fried Chicken Dinner (Insert Blanc Press), The Other Worlds (eohippus labs), and The Transparent As Witness (Solar Luxuriance), a collaboration with Will Alexander. She is Editor of the #RECURRENT Series for Civil Coping Mechanisms, Founder & Executive Editor of Entropy, Assistant Editor at Fanzine, Contributor at HTMLGiant, Co-Editor (w/ Maggie Nelson) of SUBLEVEL (the new online literary magazine based in the CalArts MFA Writing Program), and CEO/Founder of POTG Design. She currently lives in Los Angeles. She can be found online at and Twitter: @diddioz.

Please note:  this event will be held in the USA Archaeology Museum.  [PHOTO CREDIT: Unknown]

Our Creative Writing Faculty 

Charlotte Pence Headshot

Charlotte Pence | Assistant Professor of Creative Writing

Director of Creative Writing and Director of the Stokes Center for Creative Writing.  Specializes in poetry and creative nonfiction.

HUMB 277  |  460-???  |  ???

Nathan Poole Headshot

Nathan Poole | Assistant Professor of Creative Writing

Specializes in fiction.

HUMB 256  |  460-???  |  ???

Gaillard Headshot

Frye Gaillard | USA Writer in Residence

Specializes in Southern culture and history.

CB 128  |  460-7559

Parker Headshot

Linda Busby Parker | Visiting Assistant Professor of Creative Writing

Specializes in creative writing and the processes of contemporary publishing.

HUMB 253  |  460-6146  |