2018 Authors and Artists
Molly McCully Brown
Molly McCully Brown is the author of The Virginia State Colony For Epileptics and Feebleminded (Persea Books, 2017), which won the 2016 Lexi Rudnitsky First Book Prize. Raised in rural Virginia, she is a graduate of Bard College at Simon’s Rock, Stanford University, and the University of Mississippi, where she received her MFA in poetry.
Her poems and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in Gulf Coast, Ninth Letter, Pleiades, Kenyon Review, Image, Colorado Review, TriQuarterly Online, The Rumpus, Meridian, and elsewhere. She’s been the recipient of fellowships and scholarships from the Civitella Ranieri foundation, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and the University of Mississippi, where she was a John and Renée Grisham fellow.
Beginning in September 2017, she will be the inaugural Jeff Baskin Writers Fellow at The Oxford American magazine. She is at work on a collection of essays about disability, poetry, religion, and the American South that explores the relationship between the body and that intangible other we sometimes call the soul.
To learn more about Brown, visit her website https://mollymccullybrown.com/.
Nicholas Galanin (Tlingit/Unangax̂) is a multidisciplinary artist whose work offers perspective rooted in connection to land and an intentionally broad engagement with contemporary culture. For over a decade, Galanin has been embedding incisive observation into his work, investigating and expanding intersections of culture and concept in form, image and sound. Galanin's works embody critical thought. They are vessels of knowledge, culture and technology - inherently political, generous, unflinching, and poetic.
Galanin’s concepts determine his materials and processes. His practice is expansive and includes numerous collaborations with visual and recording artists, including an ongoing collaboration with his brother and fellow artist Jerrod Galanin, under the moniker Leonard Getinthecar. He is a member of two artist collectives: Black Constellation and Winter Count.
The substance and execution of his work engages past, present and future. Through two- and three-dimensional works, and time-based media, Galanin encourages reflection on cultural amnesia that actively obscures collective memory and acquisition of knowledge. Galanin creates sounds moving in time and animals fixed in space. Splintering apart replica carvings, he destroys the outputs of commodified culture, rearranging the pieces to reflect its nefarious effects. He creates petroglyphs in sidewalks and coastal rock, masks cut from books, ceramic arrows in flight, and repurposes handcuffs, which he engraves, formerly used to remove Indigenous children from their families, naming them children’s bracelets.
Galanin has apprenticed with master carvers and jewelers. He earned his BFA at London Guildhall University in Jewelry Design, and his MFA in Indigenous Visual Arts at Massey University in New Zealand. Nicholas Galanin lives and works in Sitka, Alaska.
To learn more about Galanin and view work, visit his website http://galan.in/
After half a decade of research, Grann’s new book, Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI, follows the murders of Osage Native Americans after striking oil in 1920s Oklahoma. Debuting at #3 on The New York Times nonfiction bestsellers list, Killers of the Flower Moon has received rave reviews. The Washington Post called it “wildly entertaining” and Booklist described it as “a chilling tale of unfettered greed, cruel prejudice and corrupted justice.”
His first book, The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon, became a #1 New York Times bestseller and has been translated into more than 25 languages. The book interweaves the story of the legendary British explorer Percy Fawcett’s 1925 quest to find a fabled civilization and Grann’s own attempt to follow Fawcett’s elusive trail and solve “one of the greatest mysteries of the twentieth century.”
The 2017 film adaptation, directed by James Gray and starring Charlie Hunnam, is a dramatic portrayal of Fawcett’s expedition through the Amazon. Called “mesmerizing” by The New York Times and “a mysterious, enthralling masterpiece” by The Atlantic, The Lost City of Z saw the return of Grann’s book to the Times bestseller list eight years after its original release.
Known for his compelling and irresistible stories, Grann has been called “The man Hollywood can’t stop reading.” The film version of his New Yorker article, “True Crimes,” starring Jim Carrey, will be released in 2017. The movie based on Grann's story, “The Old Man & The Gun,” is currently in production, starring Casey Affleck and Robert Redford. And there was a bidding war for the film rights to Killers of the Flower Moon, with a screenplay in the works by Oscar winner Eric Roth.
Grann’s second book, The Devil and Sherlock Holmes, contains many of his New Yorker stories and was named by Men’s Journal one of the best true-crime books ever written. One particular story, “Trial by Fire,” won a George Polk award for outstanding journalism and a Silver Gavel award for fostering the public’s understanding of the justice system. It was also cited by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer about the constitutionality of the death penalty.
Before joining The New Yorker in 2003, Grann was a senior editor at The New Republic and the executive editor of The Hill. His work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, and The Washington Post.
To learn more about Grann, visit his website https://www.davidgrann.com/
Marlon James won the 2015 Man Booker Prize for Fiction for A Brief History of Seven Killings, making him the first Jamaican author to take home the U.K.’s most prestigious literary award. In the work, James combines masterful storytelling with brilliant skill at characterization and an eye for detail to forge a bold novel of dazzling ambition and scope. He explores Jamaican history through the perspectives of multiple narrators and genres: the political thriller, the oral biography, and the classic whodunit confront the untold history of Jamaica in the 1970's, with excursions to the assassination attempt on reggae musician Bob Marley, as well as the country's own clandestine battles during the cold war. James cites influences as diverse as Greek tragedy, William Faulkner, the LA crime novelist James Ellroy, Shakespeare, Batman and the X-Men. Writing for The New York Times, Michiko Kakutani said of A Brief History of Seven Killings, “It’s epic in every sense of that word: sweeping, mythic, over-the-top, colossal and dizzyingly complex. It’s also raw, dense, violent, scalding, darkly comic, exhilarating and exhausting—a testament to Mr. James’s vaulting ambition and prodigious talent.” In addition to the Man Booker Prize, A Brief History of Seven Killings won the American Book Award, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Prize, the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature, the Minnesota Book Award, and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. James is in the process of adapting the work into an HBO television series.
Marlon James’ first novel, John Crow's Devil, tells the story of a biblical struggle in a remote Jamaican village in the 1950s. Though rejected 70 times before being accepted for publication, John Crow's Devil went on to become a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the Commonwealth Writers Prize, as well as a New York Times Editor's Choice. His second novel, The Book of Night Women, is about a slave women's revolt on a Jamaican plantation in the early 19th century. The work won the 2010 Dayton Literary Peace Prize, Minnesota Book Award, and was a finalist for the 2010 National Book Critics Circle Award in fiction, as well as an NAACP Image Award. James’ short fiction and nonfiction have been anthologized in Bronx Noir, The Book of Men: Eighty Writers on How to Be a Man and elsewhere, and have appeared in Esquire, Granta, Harper’s, The Caribbean Review of Books and other publications. His widely read essay, “From Jamaica to Minnesota to Myself,” appeared in the New York Times Magazine. In early 2016 his viral video Are you racist? ‘No’ isn’t a good enough answer received millions of hits. He is currently working on the Dark Star Trilogy a fantasy series set in African legend (Riverhead, 2018).
Marlon James was born in Kingston, Jamaica in 1970. He graduated from the University of the West Indies in 1991 with a degree in Language and Literature, and from Wilkes University in Pennsylvania in 2006 with a Masters in creative writing. He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota and teaches English and creative writing at Macalester College.
Lauren Markham is the author of The Far Away Brothers: Two Young Migrants and the Making of an American Life. A fifth generation Californian based in Berkeley, her work has appeared in outlets such as The Guardian, VICE, Orion, California Sunday, The New York Times, and VQR, where she is a contributing editor. She is a graduate of Vermont College of Fine Arts' MFA in Writing program and has been awarded fellowships from the Middlebury Fellowship in Environmental Journalism, the 11th Hour Food & Farming Journalism Fellowship, the Rotary Foundation, The Mesa Refuge, and the French American Foundation. In addition to writing, she works at a school for immigrant youth in Oakland, California.
To learn more about Markham, visit her website laurenmarkham.info.
Poet and essayist Ocean Vuong is the author of the best-selling, Night Sky with Exit Wounds, winner of the Whiting Award and Thom Gunn Award, finalist for Forward Prize for Best First Collection, the Kate Tufts Discovery Award, the Lamda Literary Prize, and was named by the New York Times as a Top 10 Book of 2016. A Ruth Lilly fellow from the Poetry Foundation, his honors include fellowships from the Lannan Foundation, the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, The Elizabeth George Foundation, The Academy of American Poets, and the Pushcart Prize.
Vuong's writings have been featured in The Atlantic, The Nation, New Republic, The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Village Voice, and American Poetry Review, which awarded him the Stanley Kunitz Prize for Younger Poets. Selected by Foreign Policy magazine as a 2016 100 Leading Global Thinker, alongside Hillary Clinton, Ban Ki-Moon and Warsan Shire, Ocean was also named by BuzzFeed Books as one of “32 Essential Asian American Writers” and has been profiled on NPR’s “All Things Considered,” PBS NewsHour, Teen Vogue, VICE, The Fantastic Man, and The New Yorker. Born in Saigon, Vietnam, he now lives in Northampton, Massachusetts, where he serves as an Assistant Professor in the MFA Program for Poets and Writers at Umass-Amherst. He is currently at work on his first novel.
To learn more about Vuong, visit his website http://www.oceanvuong.com/.