ARNOULT JOINS LMU FACULTY AS WRITER-IN-RESIDENCE
June 4, 2010 - Harrogate, Tennessee—Novelist and poet Darnell Arnoult has joined the faculty of Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) as writer-in-residence. Arnoult’s tenure with LMU will officially begin July 1, but she will be featured as a fiction workshop leader at next week’s Mountain Heritage Literary Festival.
“We are so honored that Darnell has agreed to join Lincoln Memorial University,” said LMU President B. James Dawson. “Our English department and the Mountain Heritage Literary Festival have benefited from guest lectures and workshops in the past. She has shown us that she has a true understanding of what our literary history means to the University and a clear vision on how to continue to build on that.”
Arnoult pursued the writer-in-residence position with the encouragement of author Silas House, whom she will be replacing. House and Arnoult’s association can be linked to Lee Smith, whom both have studied with. Through that link, Arnoult became involved in the Mountain Heritage Literary Festival, which House founded at LMU in 2005. Arnoult will assume the responsibility of directing the festival in future years, although House will continue to be involved in the program.
Arnoult’s first book, What Travels With Us: Poems, was published by LSU Press in 2005. The collection received the 2005 Weatherford Award for Appalachian Literature in the category of fiction and poetry from the Appalachian Studies Association and Berea College, was named 2006 Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance Poetry Book of the Year and was a finalist for Appalachian Poetry Book of the Year in 2005. A novel, Sufficient Grace, published by Free Press, an imprint of Simon & Shuster, followed in 2006. Sufficient Grace received a starred review in Publisher’s Weekly and positive reviews from Book List, Kirkus, American Library Association and National Association of the Mentally Ill. It was selected for the Book Sense annual reading group list and nominated for several regional awards. Additionally, Arnoult was honored as Tennessee Writer of the Year by the Tennessee Writers Alliance in 2007 and was awarded the Mary Frances Hobson Prize in Arts and Letters from Chowan University in 2009.
“I’m delighted to be LMU’s new writer-in-residence. The strong literary history of the University makes it a special place for writers,” Arnoult said. “Being the writer-in-residence at LMU gives me an association with writers like Jesse Stuart, James Still, Emma Bell Miles and Silas House. The LMU English department, along with Silas House and the administration, have done a lot in recent years to bring that rich literary tradition into the present, to encourage new and aspiring writers. I hope to keep up that momentum.”
Prior to her writing career, Arnoult served as program coordinator, assistant director for education and public programs and director of curriculum and education at the center for documentary studies at Duke University. She chaired the curriculum and worked with undergraduates pursuing documentary projects. Additionally, she directed the John Hope Franklin Student Documentary Awards for undergraduates attending Duke, University of North Carolina, North Carolina State and North Carolina Central University. Arnoult is also an active, dynamic and innovative conference speaker and workshop leader who has presented at workshops across the Southeast.
Arnoult has two novels, two collections of poems and a series of short stories and essays currently in progress. She plans to continue her research for the works at LMU’s Carnegie-Vincent Library, the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum and the World War II collections at the Center for the Study of War and Society at the University of Tennessee while she is in residence at LMU.
Arnoult holds a master of fine arts from the University of Memphis, where she held a Moss Fellowship and served as Senior Fiction Editor for the program’s award-winning literary journal, The Pinch. She received a master of art in English and Creative Writing from North Carolina State and a bachelor of art in American Studies with a concentration Southern Folklore from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she studied with Smith.
Arnoult was born in Martinsville, Va., with aspirations of being a cowgirl almost immediately. Growing up in Virginia, she lived and worked in North Carolina for 20 years before moving to Tennessee in 1999. Following her marriage to William Brock, in 2000, she became a full-time writer. Besides publishing, Arnoult has also achieved her other dream of being a cowgirl. She and her husband currently reside in Middle Tennessee, where they own and ride horses. “It isn’t exactly cowgirling, but it ought to count for something,” she said.
Lincoln Memorial University is a values-based learning community dedicated to providing educational experiences in the liberal arts and professional studies. The main campus is located in Harrogate, Tennessee. For more information about the undergraduate and graduate programs available at LMU, contact the Office of Admissions at 423-869-6280 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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