CMA Writer-in-Residence Ray McManus

"I’m excited to be working in this capacity with the CMA. So much of my relationship with the museum was forged by the literary programs held here in the past. I’m looking forward to reshaping older programs and creating new ones."

"Poet Ray McManus"


Literary programs are generously supported by SC Humanities


Introducing Ray McManus

Writer-in-Residence Ray McManus shares his poetry and his goals for literary programs at the CMA.


Contribute Your Verse

Contribute Your Verse is a podcast about creativity, community, and pursuing a career in writing. Our own Ray McManus joined the conversation to reflect on his poetry, the challenges and joys of literary programming, and the evolution of the literary community in South Carolina. Hear the episode now on Apple Podcasts or Soundcloud.


About Writer-in-Residence Ray McManus

McManus earned his Master of Fine Arts degree in poetry and his doctorate in rhetoric and composition from the University of South Carolina. An associate professor of English at the University of South Carolina in Sumter, McManus teaches creative writing, Irish literature, and Southern literature and has won numerous awards for teaching and scholarship on southern and Irish culture. He is the director of the Center for Oral Narrative housed in the Division of Arts and Letters. In 2014, he joined the editorial board for the Palmetto Poetry Series and maintains partnerships with the SC Arts Commission and local arts agencies. McManus is the founder of Split P Soup, a creative writing outreach program that places writers in schools and communities in South Carolina, and the director of the creative writing program at the Tri-District Arts Consortium. His current outreach project is Re:Verse, a teaching initiative that works with educators and administrators to develop effective strategies to bring more emphasis to creative writing in standard education.

McManus’ poems and prose have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. His first book, Driving Through the Country Before You Are Born, was published by USC Press in 2007. Since then he has published three more books: 2008’s Left Behind, 2011’s Red Dirt Jesus, selected by Alicia Ostriker for the Marick Press Poetry Prize, and 2014’s Punch, winner of the 2015 Independent Publishers Book Award. McManus recently co-edited an anthology with USC Press called Found Anew.

Learn more.