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Advisory Board

Breiseth Hall • 570-408-4235(T) • 570-408-7846 (F) • Email

Advisory Board
The Advisory Board to the Graduate Creative Writing Program
acts as a sounding board throughout the evolution of the program. Members will be consulted not only on strategic issues, such as the program's size and scope, but also on specific curriculum matters, admission standards, faculty, publication venues, and program promotion.

Board members will be invited to the Wilkes campus to give readings and meet with faculty and students during the January and June residencies.

In short, the Program's co-directors and its faculty and students will look to the Board for counsel and advice, as well as interaction during residencies, on all aspects of the Program.

Founding & Former Advisory Board Member

The late Norman Mailer, author of more than 40 works and winner of the Pulitzer and National Book Award among others; member of the National Academy of arts and Letters. Mr. Mailer was the first keynote speaker on June 26, 2004.

Current Advisory Board members

 J. Michael Lennon, J. Michael Lennon is the late Norman Mailer’s authorized biographer and author of Norman Mailer: A Double Life, released in Oct. 2013 by Simon and Schuster. He has written/edited several other books about Mailer, including NORMAN MAILER: WORKS AND DAYS (2000), which was the recipient of a Choice Magazine award for “outstanding scholarly title” in 2001.  Some of his other books are CRITICAL ESSAYS ON NORMAN MAILER (1986), CONVERSATION WITH NORMAN MAILER (1988), THE SPOOKY ART: SOME THOUGHTS ON WRITING (2003).  He is the current president of The Norman Mailer Society and past president of the James Jones Society.  His work has appeared in NEW YORKER, PARIS REVIEW, PLAYBOY, PROVINCETOWN ARTS, among others.  His latest book, co-authored with Mailer, is ON GOD: AN UNCOMMON CONVERSATION (October 2007).  Lennon is currently editing Mailer’s letters and researching the biography. Selections of the letters will be published in NEW YORKER and PLAYBOY this fall.  Lennon’s documentary, James Jones: From Reveille to Taps, was shown on PBS in 1984.   He is Emeritus Vice President for Academic Affairs and Emeritus Professor of English at Wilkes University and later chaired the Humanities Division at Wilkes (2003-2005), and he continues to teach in the Creative Writing Program.  Lennon received an A.B. from Stonehill College, and the M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Rhode Island. Read more about Lennon here.

Toi Derricotte
, Poet. Non-fiction Writer.  Toi Derricotte is currently a professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh. Her books of poetry include: TENDER,which won the 1998 Paterson Poetry Prize, CAPTIVITY, NATURAL BIRTH and THE EMPRESS OF THE DEATH HOUSE. She is also the author of a literary memoir, THE BLACK NOEBOOKS, winner of the 1998 Annisfield-Wolf Award for Non-fiction. She also co-founded Cave Canem, a summer workshop for African American poets.

more information >>

Samuel Hazo, Poet, Fiction Writer, Essayist, Playwright. Samuel Hazo is the director of the International Poetry Forum in Pittsburg, where he also is McAnulty Distinguished Professor of English Emeritus at Duquesne University. His latest book is THE SONG OF THE HORSE: COLLECTED POEMS 1958-2008, published by Autumn House Press in 2008.  Some of his other books include: THE HOLY SURRISE of RIGHT NOW (poetry); THE REST IS PROSE (Essays); STILLS (Fiction); FEATHER (Play); AS THEY SAIL (Poetry) and SPYING for GOD (Essays).  His translations include Denis de Rougemont’s THE GROWL OF DEEPER WATERS, Nadia Tueni’s LEBANON: TWENTY POEMS for ONE LOVE and Adonis’ THE PAGES of DAY and NIGHT. He has been a National Book Award finalist and was chosen the first State Poet of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania by Gov. Robert Casey in 1993, a position he still holds.

Larry Heinemann, Novelist and Essayist; Larry Heinemann’s latest book is BLACK VIRGIN MOUNTAIN, a nonfiction piece that chronicles his return trips to Vietnam and his personal and political views concerning the country and the war. His other works include PACO’S STORY, winner of the 1987 National Book Award for Fiction, and COOLER BY THE LAKE. His short stories and non-fiction have appeared in ATLANTIC MONTHLY, GRAPHIS,  PENTHOUSE, PLAYBOY, TRI-QUARTERLY and numerous other publications. He has also received literature fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment of the Arts.

William Heyen, Poet. William Heyen is professor of English/Poet in Residence Emeritus at SUNY Brockport. A former Senior Fulbright Lecturer in American Literature to Germany, he has won NEA, Guggenheim, American Academy & Institute of Arts & Letters, and other fellowships and awards. His latest work is A POETICS OF HIROSHIMA, published in 2008 by Etruscan Press. His poems have appeared in THE KENYON REVIEW, THE SOUTHERN REVIEW, THE ONTARIO REVIEW, GREAT RIVER REVIEW, CHAUTAUQUA LITERAY JOURNAL, ONEARTH and elsewhere.  Heyen's other works include a limited-edition letterpressed chapbook, THE DEVIL'S SONG,  published by Timberline Pres, and a book-length poem, TO WILLIAM MERWIN, published by Mammoth Books.

Beverly Hiscox, member of the Wilkes University Board of Trustees and long-time supporter of the arts.

H.L. Hix, Poet, Essayist. H.L. Hix teaches and directs the  creative writing MFA program at the University of Wyoming. LEGIBLE HEAVENS, his latest book of poems, is slated to be released by Etruscan Press in 2008. His other books published by Etruscan include the poetry collection, SHADDOWS OF HOUSES, a collection of essays on poetry, AS EASY AS LYING, and an anthology, WILD AND WHIRLING WORDS. He has published a number of other books of poetry, poetry in translation, and criticism. His poetry has been recognized with the Grolier Prize, the T. S. Eliot Prize, the Peregrine Smith Award, and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Hix’s most recent book of poetry, CHROMATIC (Etruscan Press), was a 2006 finalist for the National Book Award in Poetry.

William J. Kennedy, Novelist, Nonfiction Writer. William J. Kennedy is the author of several novels that deal with the fictional Irish-American Phelan family, and also make use of Albany, New York's history. His novels include THE INK TRUCK, LEGS, BILLY PHELAN'S GREATEST GAME, IRONWEED, winner of the 1984 Pulitzer Prize for fiction, and ROSCOE, He has also written a non-fiction book about Albany entitled O ALBANY! He is a graduate of Siena College in Loudonville New York and still lives near Albany.

Robert May. producer, founder of SenArt Films, and winner of the Audience Award for Patricia Clarkson at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival. Current film, The Station Agent,won the BAFTA award for Best Original Screenplay.

Colum McCann. Novelist. Short Story Writer. Colum McCann’s latest novel is ZOLI, a national bestseller that is set to be published in twenty languages. He is currently working on a new novel, LET THE GREAT WORLD SPIN, which is tentatively scheduled to be released in September 2009. He is also the author of two collections of short stories and three novels, including THIS SIDE OF BRIGHTNESS and DANCER, both of which were international best-sellers. His fiction has appeared in THE NEW YORKER, THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY, GQ and other publications. Winner of a Pushcart Prize, the Rooney Prize and other awards, McCann was recently inducted into the Hennessy Hall of Fame. And his short film, EVERYTHING IN THIS COUNTRY MUST, directed by Gary McKendry, was nominated for an Oscar in 2005. He currently teaches in the creative writing department of Hunter College in New York.

Lawrence Schiller.
 Photojournalist, Novelist, Nonfiction Writer, Producer, Director, Screenwriter. Lawrence Schiller grew up outside of San Diego, California. After attending Pepperdine College in Los Angeles, he worked for Life magazine, Paris Match, The Sunday Times, Newsweek, Stern and The Saturday Evening Post as a photojournalist. His first book, LSD, was published in 1966. Since then, he’s published 11 books, including W. Eugene Smith’s Minamata and Norman Mailer’s Marilyn. He’s also collaborated with Albert Goldman on Ladies and Gentlemen and Norman Mailer on The Executioner’s Song and Oswald’s Tale. His own books include American Tragedy, Perfect Murder, Perfect Town, Cape May Court House and Into the Mirror. He has directed seven motion pictures and miniseries for television; The Executioner's Song and Peter the Great which won five Emmys. American Tragedy, Perfect Murder, Perfect Town and Into the Mirror were made into television mini-series for CBS. Schiller produced and directed each of the motion pictures.

In 2008, after the death of Mailer, he was named Senior Advisor to the Norman Mailer Estate and is the Managing Director of the Norman Mailer Writers Colony, in Provincetown, MA, which he created with Norris Mailer. Schiller was a close friend of Mailer and collaborator on five of his works. He also serves as director of the Norman Mailer Licensing company. Schiller is a consultant to NBC News and has written for the New Yorker.

Carol Schneider, longtime professional in the field of book marketing and publicity. VP of Publishing for Random House, Inc.

Thom Ward Poet, Editor. Thom Ward holds degrees in English from The College of Wooster and the SUNY College at Brockport. Currently, he is editor for BOA Editions, LTD., an independent publishing house of American poetry and poetry in translation. Ward's poetry collection, SMALL BOAT WITH OARS OF DIFFERENT SIZE, was published in 1999 by Carnegie Mellon University Press. Ward's poetry chapbook, TUMBLEKID, the winner of 1998 Devil's Millhopper Poetry Contest, was published in 200 by the University South Carolina-Aiken, while VARIOUS ORBITS, was published by Carnegie Mellon in 2000 by the latest collection of poems, THE MATTER OF THE CASKET, was published by Custom Words in 2007. His vices include reading, golf, and martinis.



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