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.
For more information, please contact the Director of the Stokes Center for Creative Writing, Dr. Charlotte Pence, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Readings & Events
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. Continuing this tradition, the Stokes Center for Creative Writing brings emerging and established authors to campus for readings and craft talks throughout the year. All events are free and open to the public.
Charlotte Pence - Thursday, September 14, 2017, 7pm
Charlotte Pence’s first book of poems, Many Small Fires (Black Lawrence Press, 2015), received an INDIEFAB Book of the Year Award from Foreword
Reviews. The book explores her father’s chronic homelessness while simultaneously
detailing the physiological changes that enabled humans to form cities, communities,
and households. She is also the author of two award-winning poetry chapbooks and the
editor of The Poetics of American Song Lyrics. Her poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction have recently been published in Harvard Review, Sewanee Review, Southern Review, and Brevity. In August, she became the director of the Stokes Center for Creative Writing at
University of South Alabama. A reception will follow the reading.
Sue Brannan Walker - Wednesday, September 27, 2017, 7pm
Professor Emerita Sue Brannan Walker will celebrate the launch of her new poetry book
titled Let Us Imagine Her Name (Clemson University Press, 2017). Walker is a former Poet Laureate of Alabama and
is professor emerita of English at University of South Alabama where she served as
department chair and director of the Stokes Center for Creative Writing. She has published
over ten books in her career and is also the founder of Negative Capability Press
in Mobile. This event is co-sponsored by the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi. A reception
will follow the reading.
Nathan Poole - Thursday, October 19, 2017, 6:30pm
Nathan Poole is the author of two books of fiction, Father Brother Keeper (Sarabande, 2015), a collection of stories selected by Edith Pearlman for the 2013
Mary McCarthy Prize and long-listed for the international Frank O’Connor Award, and Pathkiller as the Holy Ghost, a novella selected by Benjamin Percy as the winner of the 2014 Quarterly West Novella
Contest. His stories have appeared in various national journals, including Ecotone, The Kenyon Review, Narrative Magazine, Image, The Chattahoochee Review, and The Saturday Evening Post. He has been awarded the Narrative Prize, a Milton Fellowship Seattle Pacific University, a Joan Beebe Teaching Fellowship
at Warren Wilson College, and a Tennessee Williams Scholarship at the Sewanee Writers
Conference. He holds degrees from the Warren Wilson MFA program for Writers and the
University of South Carolina. A reception will follow the reading.
Adam Prince - Wednesday, November 1, 2017, 4pm
Born and raised in Southern California, Adam Prince earned his B.A. from Vassar College, his M.F.A. from the University of Arkansas, and his Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee. His award-winning fiction has appeared in The Missouri Review, The Southern Review, and Narrative Magazine, that last of which named him as one of the best twenty new writers. He has served as a Tickner Fellow at the Gilman School and is currently a Stokes Visiting Writer at the University of South Alabama. He is married to the poet Charlotte Pence and is at work on a novel and several screenplays. His first book, a short story collection called The Beautiful Wishes of Ugly Men, is now available from Black Lawrence Press.Please note: this event will be held in the Terrace Room in the USA Student Center.
Yaa Gyasi - Thursday, November 16, 2017, 7pm
Yaa Gyasi will talk with Charlotte Pence, Director of the Stokes Center for Creative
Writing, about her book Homegoing (Knopf, 2016) on stage at the Student Center Ballroom. Yaa Gyasi is a Ghanaian-American
novelist who moved to Huntsville, Alabama at age ten. Her debut novel Homegoing earned the National Book Critics Circle’s John Leonard Award for best first book,
the PEN/Hemingway Award for a first book, and the National Book Foundation’s "5 under
35" honors for 2016 and the American Book Award. Homegoing follows two half-sisters who are born into different villages and unaware of the other.
One will marry an Englishman and lead a life of comfort in the Cape Coast Castle,
the other will be captured, imprisoned in the same castle, and sold into slavery.
This story follows the paths of these sisters and their descendants through eight
generations. Yaa Gyasi's novel illuminates slavery's troubled legacy and shows how
the memory of captivity has been inscribed on the soul of our nation. This event
is co-sponsored by the USA Common Read/Common World Program, Jaguar Productions, and
USA Academic Affairs.
Catharsis with Dr. Pence's Poetry Class - Thursday, November 30, 2017, 7pm
Dr. Charlotte Pence’s fall poetry class will be reading with Carthasis to celebrate the end of the semester. Catharsis has been performing spoken word since 2005 when she was first introduced to open mic events. She released her debut CD, My Thoughts, My Stage My Mic in May of 2012, which sold copies throughout Florida, Alabama, and even gained air play in New York. She competed in the 21st annual regional poetry slam, Southern Fried, in 2013 with Mobile Alabama’s first ever slam team. In 2014, she received the Mousai Award for Best Spoken Word Collaboration (alongside spoken word artist KMarie). She has featured in several poetry shows and venues in Mobile, Alabama. She is also the founder of the poetry troupe, the Powerlines Poets, a poetry troupe that is recognized throughout this region. They have successfully completed three poetry tours (to include Miami, Orlando, Jacksonville, Palm Bay, and Fort Walton Beach, Florida) since 2012 and recently completed tracks for their debut CD, Shock Treatment V.1.Please note: this event will be held at a location yet to be determined.
Our Creative Writing Faculty
Frye Gaillard | USA Writer in Residence
Specializes in Southern culture and history.
CB 128 | 460-7559 | email@example.com
Linda Busby Parker | Visiting Assistant Professor of Creative Writing
Specializes in creative writing and the processes of contemporary publishing.
HUMB 253 | 460-6146 | firstname.lastname@example.org
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 | 460-6149 | email@example.com
Nathan Poole | Assistant Professor of Creative Writing
Specializes in fiction.
HUMB 256 | 460-7417 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Adam Prince | Stokes Visiting Writer
Specializes in fiction and screenwriting.
HUMB 277 | 460-6149 | email@example.com