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Caroline Marshall Draughon Center for the Arts & Humanities
Third Thursday Poetry Series

2022-2023 Schedule

August 25, 2022
Creative Writing Faculty: Rose McLarney, Anton DiSclafani, Alyssa D. Ross
September 15, 2022
Charlotte Pence
October 20, 2022
Witness Poetry Prize honoring Jake Adam York featuring Rich Barot *The Jule
November 17, 2022
Chiyuma Elliott
January 19, 2023
Austin Segrest
February 16, 2023
Beth Ann Fennelly
March 16, 2023
SHR Spring Sessions Reading featuring Gabrielle Bates and Jason Mott
March 30, 2023
Elena Passarello
April 20, 2023
Graduating Student Reading
May 18, 2023
Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Auburn Reading








Third Thursday Poetry Series and Other Literary Events


The Third Thursday Poetry Series at Pebble Hill is sponsored by the Caroline Marshall Draughon Center for the Arts & HumanitiesDepartment of English, and Southern Humanities Review in the College of Liberal Arts at Auburn University; the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Auburn University; and the Alabama State Council on the Arts.

Rose McLarney’s collections of poems are Forage and Its Day Being Gone, both from Penguin Poets, as well as The Always Broken Plates of Mountains, published by Four Way Books. She is co-editor of A Literary Field Guide to Southern Appalachia, from University of Georgia Press, and the journal Southern Humanities Review. McLarney has been awarded fellowships by the MacDowell Colony and Bread Loaf and Sewanee Writers’ Conferences; served as Dartmouth Poet-in-Residence at the Frost Place; and is winner of the National Poetry Series, the Chaffin Award for Achievement in Appalachian Writing, and the Fellowship of Southern Writers’ New Writing Award for Poetry, among other prizes. Her poems and lyric essays have appeared in publications including The Kenyon Review, American Poetry Review, New England Review, The Southern Review, Prairie Schooner, Missouri Review, and The Oxford American. McLarney earned her MFA from Warren Wilson's MFA Program for Writers. Currently, she is an associate professor of creative writing at Auburn University.

Anton DiSclafani’s first novel, The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls, was a New York Times bestseller, an Indie Next pick and bestseller, and a finalist for the Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize. YRC was named a most anticipated book of the summer by The Wall Street Journal and Publishers Weekly, and was a summer book pick by USA Today and National Public Radio. It was named a book of the year by Slate, and has since been translated into twelve languages. Her nonfiction has appeared in Southbound, Rhapsody, and Biographile. She also wrote and performed a segment for This American Life. Her newest novel, The After Party is about obsession and love in free-wheeling 1950's Houston (Penguin/Riverhead). DiSclafani received her BA from Emory University, and her MFA from Washington University in St. Louis, where she was previously a writer-in-residence. Now an associate professor at Auburn University, DiSclafani lives in Auburn with her husband and sons.

Alyssa D. Ross was born in Guntersville, Alabama, but spent over a decade living in northern Virginia. After abandoning art school in Richmond, she went on to pursue creative writing and literary scholarship. She now holds an MFA from George Mason University and a PhD from Auburn University. Her work has appeared in Shanti Arts QuarterlyMeat for TeaHawaii Pacific ReviewThe Voices Project, and The Foliate Oak Literary Magazine, among others.

Dr. Charlotte Pence is the director of the Stokes Center for Creative Writing at the University of South Alabama. Her writing has received awards and fellowships from the Tennessee Arts Commission, the Redden Fund, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Alvin H. Nielson Memorial Fund, the Discovered Voices Award, New Millennium Writing Award, multiple Pushcart nominations and many other honors. Her work has appeared in Alaska Quarterly ReviewEpoch, Harvard ReviewKenyon Review OnlineNorth American ReviewDenver QuarterlyPassages NorthRattleTar River PoetryPrairie SchoonerSouthern Review, and many other journals. Her first full-length book of poetry, Many Small Fires was published by Black Lawrence Press in 2015. Her most recent book, Code, won Alabama Poetry Society’s 2021 Book of the Year award. She has also published two chapbooks, Weaves a Clear Night (Winner of the Flying Trout Chapbook Award, 2011) and The Branches, the Axe, the Missing (Winner of the Black River Chapbook Award, 2012). Pence has also published nonfiction essays and a composition handbook. She edited The Poetics of American Song Lyrics.

Rick Barot was born in the Philippines, grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, and attended Wesleyan University and The Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa. He has published three books of poetry with Sarabande Books: The Darker Fall (2002), which received the Kathryn A. Morton Prize; Want (2008), which was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award and won the 2009 Grub Street Book Prize; and Chord (2015), which was a finalist for the LA Times Book Prize and received the 2016 UNT Rilke Prize, the PEN Open Book Award, and the Publishing Triangle’s Thom Gunn Award. His fourth book of poems, The Galleons was published by Milkweed Editions in 2020.  The Galleons was listed on the top ten poetry books for 2020 by the New York Public Library, was a finalist for the Pacific Northwest Book Awards, and was on the longlist for the National Book Award. Also in 2020, his chapbook During the Pandemic was published by Albion Books. The recipient of fellowships from the NEA and the Guggenheim Foundation, Barot won the Shelley Memorial Award in 2020. He has taught at numerous universities including Stanford, California College of the Arts, George Washington University, and Lynchburg College. He lives in Tacoma, Washington, where he directs the Rainier Writing Workshop, the low-residency MFA program in creative writing at Pacific Lutheran University.

Chiyuma Elliott is the author of four books of poetry: Blue in Green (2021), At Most (2020), Vigil (2017), and California Winter League (2015).  She is a former Stegner Fellow and an Associate Professor of African American Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. Chiyuma’s scholarly work focuses on poetry and the Harlem Renaissance. Her poems have appeared in the African American ReviewCallaloo, the Notre Dame Review, the PN Review, and other journals. She has received fellowships from the American Philosophical Society, Cave Canem, and the Vermont Studio Center.

Originally from Alabama, Austin Segrest holds a PhD in Literature and Creative Writing (Poetry) from The University of Missouri (2014) and an MFA from Georgia State University (2009). Austin has received fellowships from Ucross Foundation, the Fine Arts Work Center, the Sewanee Writers' Conference, and the NEH. A former poetry editor of The Missouri Review, Austin currently teaches at Lawrence University in Appleton, WI. Austin's poetry collection, Door to Remain, won the Vassar Miller Prize and was published by UNT Press in 2022. His poems can be found in POETRY, The Yale ReviewThe Threepenny ReviewEcotone, The CommonNew England Review, Ploughshares, and many other journals. His essays on poetry can be found in APRPoetry Northwest, 32 PoemsSouthern Humanities ReviewOn the Seawall, and Pleiades.

Beth Ann Fennelly, Poet Laureate of Mississippi, is a 2020 Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellow. She teaches in the MFA Program at the University of Mississippi, where she was named Outstanding Teacher of the Year. She’s won grants and awards from the N.E.A., the United States Artists, a Pushcart, and a Fulbright to Brazil. Beth Ann has published six books--three of poetry: Open House, Tender Hooks, and Unmentionables, all with W. W. Norton. Beth Ann's poetry has been in over fifty anthologies, including Best American Poetry 1996, 2005, and 2006, The Book of Irish American Poetry from the Eighteenth Century to the PresentPoets of the New Century, and The Penguin Book of the Sonnet, and in textbooks such as Contemporary American Poetry and Literature. In recent years, Beth Ann’s written more prose. A book of essays, Great With Child: Letters to a Young Mother, was published by Norton in 2006. In 2013, Beth Ann and her husband, Tom Franklin, co-authored a novel, The Tilted World, published by HarperCollins and set during the 1927 flood of the Mississippi River.  Her sixth book, Heating & Cooling: 52 Micro-memoirs, published by W. W. Norton, was named an Atlanta Journal Constitution Best Book of 2017 and a Goodreaders Favorite for 2017. A contributing editor to The Oxford American, she also writes freelance on travel, culture, and design for many magazines. Recent nonfiction awards include the Orlando Award in Nonfiction from A Room of Her Own, the Lamar York Prize from The Chattachoochee Review and the Porter Fleming Award for Excellence in the Essay. She’s the first woman honored with the University of Notre Dame’s Distinguished Alumni in the Arts Award.

Gabrielle Bates is the author of Judas Goat, forthcoming from Tin House in 2023. Originally from Birmingham, Alabama, she received her BA in English at Auburn University. Currently, she lives in Seattle, where she works for Open Books: A Poem Emporium and co-hosts the podcast The Poet Salon. Her poems have appeared in the New YorkerPloughsharesPoetryAPRBAX: Best American Experimental WritingCatapult, and elsewhere; she teaches occasionally through Hugo House and the University of Washington Rome Center.

Jason Mott is a bestselling author, National Book Award Winner, Sir Walter Raleigh Award for Fiction Winner, Pushcart Prize nominee, NAACP Image Award nominee, and Carnegie Medals for Excellence Longlist nominee.  Jason has a BFA in Fiction and an MFA in Poetry, both from the University of North Carolina Wilmington.  His poetry and fiction has appeared in various literary journals.  Entertainment Weekly listed him as one of their 10 “New Hollywood: Next Wave” people to watch. He is the author of two poetry collections: We Call This Thing Between Us Love and “. . . hide behind me . . .” He is the author of four novels: The ReturnedThe Wonder of All ThingsThe Crossing, and Hell Of A BookThe Returned, Jason’s debut novel, was adapted by Brad Pitt’s production company, Plan B, in association with Brillstein Entertainment and ABC.  It aired on the ABC network under the title “Resurrection.” Jason’s fourth novel, Hell Of A Book, release in June 2021, was a Jenna Bush Hager “Read With Jenna” Book Club pick, Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction Longlist selection, a 2022 Aspen Words Literary Prize Longlist selection, a Joyce Carol Oates Prize Longlist selection, the 2021 Sir Walter Raleigh Prize for Fiction winner, and the winner of the 2021 National Book Award for Fiction.

Elena Passarello is an actor, writer, and recipient of a 2015 Whiting Award. Her first collection Let Me Clear My Throat (Sarabande, 2012), won the gold medal for nonfiction at the 2013 Independent Publisher Awards and was a finalist for the 2014 Oregon Book Award. Passarello’s second collection, Animals Strike Curious Poses (Sarabande 2017), is a bestiary of famous animals. From Jeoffry the Cat to Koko the Gorilla, these essays are as much about the animals as the humans who named and interact with them. The book was listed as a New York Times Notable Book of 2017 and in The Guardian and Publishers Weekly's Best Books of 2017. In May 2018, it received the Oregon Book Award and has been translated into German, Italian, and Chinese. Her essays on performance, pop culture, and the natural world have been published in Oxford American, SlateCreative Nonfiction, and The Iowa Review, among other publications, as well as in the 2015 anthologies Cat is Art Spelled Wrong and After Montaigne: Contemporary Essayists Cover the Essay. Passarello has performed in several regional theaters in the East and Midwest, originating roles in the premieres of Christopher Durang’s Mrs. Bob Cratchit’s Wild Christmas Binge and David Turkel’s Wild Signs and Holler. In 2011, she became the first woman winner of the annual Stella Screaming Contest in New Orleans. She lives in Corvallis, Oregon and directs the MFA Program at Oregon State University.