Novelist Jesmyn Ward Kicks Off Emory Creative Writing Reading Series

September 24, 2013

ATLANTA ¿ National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward delivers the 2013 Phillis Wheatley Reading at Emory University as part of the 2013-2014 Creative Writing Reading Series. Ward will give the free public reading on Thursday, October 17 at 6:30 p.m. in the Joseph W. Jones Room of the Woodruff Library. There will be a book signing immediately afterward.

She will also participate in a colloquium with students at 2:30 p.m. on October 17 in the Callaway Center N301, where she¿ll answer questions and discuss her career as a novelist. 

Ward is the author of two novels, "Where the Line Bleeds" and "Salvage the Bones."  Both are set on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi, where she grew up and still lives. Ward received her MFA in creative writing from the University of Michigan, where she won five Hopwood Awards for her fiction, essays, and drama. She held a Stegner Fellowship at Stanford University from 2008-2010, and served as the Grisham Writer in Residence at the University of Mississippi the following year. In 2011, "Salvage the Bones" earned her the National Book Award for Fiction. Ward currently teaches creative writing at the University of Southern Alabama in Mobile.

Ward¿s newest project, "The Men We Reaped," is a memoir about the loss of her brother and other young black men in her hometown of DeLisle, Mississippi. Released this month, the book is receiving critical acclaim, with The New York Times describing it as "raw, beautiful and dangerous."  

The Phillis Wheatley Reading is a part of the Emory University Creative Writing Program Reading Series, bringing international writers to the Emory and Atlanta community. All events are free and open to the public. For additional information, visit


Creative Writing Program
The undergraduate Creative Writing Program at Emory celebrates its 23rd anniversary this year. Students approach the study of literature through their own creative writing, as well as by the more traditional method of critical analysis and reading. USA Today recently named Emory the number one school for "budding writers."