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Date    11-08-05
Contact    Christopher Mappe (601) 266-4497


Reading at Ogletree House on Nov. 30 open to public

HATTIESBURG—The Center for Writers at the University of Southern Mississippi is kicking off its 2005-2006 Visiting Writers Program with novelist and short story writer Michael Knight from Nov. 30 – Dec. 1. A 1993 graduate of the Southern Miss Center for Writers, Knight most recently wrote the short story fiction collection Good Night, Nobody.

During his residency, Knight will facilitate an afternoon workshop with graduate students and meet with them individually for one-on-one consultations. A reading, free and open to the public, will be held on campus at the USM Ogletree House at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 30.

“Knight’s reading is a terrific contribution to the Hattiesburg cultural calendar,” said Frederick Barthelme, director of the Center for Writers, “and his extended interaction with the Center for Writers graduate students will provide them with insight and professional guidance beyond the school’s already distinguished faculty.”

After graduating from Southern Miss, Knight went on to the University of Virginia’s Master of Fine Arts Program in Fiction and was recently named the John and Renee Grisham Emerging Southern Writer at the University of Mississippi. Knight also directs the Creative Writing program at the University of Tennessee and has taught at Gilman School in Baltimore and Hollins University in Roanoke, Va.

His first novel, Divining Rod, was published in 1998, and his collection of short stories, Dogfight & Other Stories, won a PEN/Hemingway Foundation Special Citation in 1999. His fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Paris Review, GQ, Esquire, Mid-American Review, Story, Playboy, and elsewhere. Additionally, his work has been included in the anthologies New Stories from the South, Best American Mystery Stories, Stories from the Blue Moon Café, and Scribner’s Best of the Fiction Workshops.

Knight has also received the Dictionary of Literary Biography’s Best First Novel Award, a New Writing Award from the Fellowship of Southern Writers, Playboy magazine’s College Fiction Prize, and a Henfield Foundation Award for Fiction.

The Center for Writers will also host the critically acclaimed and award-winning poets Stuart Dischell on Dec. 8 and Lucie Brock-Broido on Dec. 15.

For more information, contact Christopher Mapp at (601) 266-4497 or visit the Web at


Praise for Michael Knight’s Good Night, Nobody:

Jonathan Miles, The New York Times Book Review

“Knight has the rare power to...invest [a setting] with a as the pulsebeats of his characters.”

Barbara Quick, The San Francisco Chronicle

“An example of the nuanced lyricism, compression and emotional richness that make short stories, when they work, so...satisfying.”

Kevin Allman, The Washington Post Book World

“If good writing is like a good suit?durable, seamless and decidedly non-flashy?then Michael Knight [is a] master tailor.”

Amanda Heller, The Boston Globe

“Knight’s characters remain touchingly human, thanks to his subtle, if sardonic, sense of humor and his essential authorial decency.”

Ginny Merdes, The Seattle Times

“Knight makes the most of characters with little...going for them. His characters discover their mettle in everyday struggles.”


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Last updated: 12/23/05

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