University of South Alabama, Office of Public Relations

December 13, 2007
Contact: Joy Crawford-Washington, USA Public Relations, (251) 460-6211

Walker Named the Stokes Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing at USA

Dr. Sue Brannan Walker
  Dr. Sue Brannan Walker
Mobile, Ala.Dr. Sue Brannan Walker, chair of the department of English at the University of South Alabama in the College of Arts and Sciences, has been named the Stokes Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing at USA. The Stokes Distinguished Professorship is supported by an endowment created by a generous gift from Dr. and Mrs. Steven H. Stokes. Both Dr. Stokes and his wife Angelia are USA alumni and reside in Dothan, Ala.

Dr. Stokes is the Chair of the USA Board of Trustees and Mrs. Stokes is a member of the Dean's Leadership Council in the College of Arts and Sciences. 

“We are deeply honored that we could support the USA creative writing department, expressed Dr. Stokes. “Dr. Walker will do an outstanding job as the Stokes Distinguished Professor.”

Walker received a bachelor of science degree from the University of Alabama, and earned  master of arts and master of education degrees and a doctorate from Tulane University. She has taught at USA since 1980, serving as chair of the English Department since 1997. She is an accomplished poet and writer of fiction and non-fiction prose.

“I am extremely proud and appreciative of the many contributions that Walker has made and will continue to make at USA, said Dr. G. David Johnson, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at USA. “Dr. Walker is truly deserving of the honor bestowed on her as the first Stokes Distinguished Professor.”

Walker has published 18 books, numerous poems in 79 different journals, seven short stories, 29 articles of literary criticism, 17 pieces in anthologies, and a one-woman, one-act, play, in which she also performs.  She has given more than 100 papers, lectures, workshops and readings in the U.S. and Europe. She started and continues to manage her own publishing house, Negative Capability.

  In 2003, she was named Poet Laureate for the state of Alabama and continues to serve in that role.  Earlier this year she was named the First Lady of Mobile, an honor given in recognition of her contributions to the promotion of the arts and humanities in our city.  Walker has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize.

In addition to being an outstanding artist and scholar, Walker is a superb teacher, who inspires the love of language and literature among her students. 

Walker will step down as chair of the English department to fulfill her duties as the Stokes Professor, which will include directing the activities of the Stokes Center for Creative Writing. The Stokes Center will advance the study of writing by hosting prominent authors who will offer courses, workshops, and readings at USA. 

The Center will also award academic scholarships to talented students, and host writing conferences and festivals.
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