Join the CMA as we celebrate the launch of our Writer-in-Residence program with a special reading and discussion in the galleries. CMA Writer-in-Residence Ray McManus opens the series and welcomes four writers who have created original work in response to Renée Cox: Soul Culture and Seen & Unseen: Photographs by Imogen Cunningham. Julia Elliott, Monifa Lemons, Maya Marshall, and Jillian Weise each share their point of view on the exhibitions. This project is supported by a Connected Communities grant from Central Carolina Community Foundation.
Julia Elliott’s writing has appeared in Tin House, The Georgia Review, Conjunctions, The New York Times, and other publications. She has won a Rona Jaffe Writer’s Award, and her stories have been anthologized in Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses and Best American Short Stories. Her debut story collection, The Wilds, a was chosen by Kirkus, BuzzFeed, Book Riot, and Electric Literature as one of the Best Books of 2014 and was a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice. Her first novel, The New and Improved Romie Futch, was a finalist for the Southern Independent Bookseller's Alliance Prince of Tides Literary Award.
Also recognized as SelahthePoet, Monifa began her poetic journey in Columbia, SC in the late 90s, where she hosted and featured at open mic venues for over 15 years. Originally from New York City, Monifa has studied theatrical arts most of her life and performed in plays, including Dreamgirls in SC at Workshop Theatre and Two Trains Running at Black Spectrum Theatre in NY. Most recently a published poet, her work can now be found in Home is Where, an anthology of Southern poets, edited by Dr. Kwame Dawes. She currently resides in Lugoff, SC and is co-founder and director of Watering Hole.
Maya Marshall, is a writer, editor, and poet. She holds fellowships from Cave Canem and Callaloo, and she serves as a senior editor for PANK.
Jillian Weise is a poet, performance artist and disability rights activist. She is the author The Amputee's Guide to Sex (2007), The Colony (2010) and The Book of Goodbyes (2013), which won the Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets and the Gardner Award from BOA Editions. Her work has appeared in A Public Space, The Huffington Post, The New York Times and other publications. She performs the character of Tipsy Tullivan across social media. Weise is the recipient of residencies and fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center, the Fulbright Program, the Lannan Foundation, and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She is an Associate Professor at Clemson University.
CMA Writer-in-Residence: Ray McManus, Ph.D.
Ray McManus earned his MFA in poetry and his Ph.D. 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 many 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 teachers and administrators on developing effective strategies for bringing creative writing back to standard education.