Volume 11 Contributor Bios

The Practice and Pedagogy of Writing at Black Mountain College (Fall 2020)

N. S. Boone teaches American Literature at Harding University in Arkansas.  He has been a member of the Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center since he finished his dissertation (Truth and Method on Black Mountain: The Hermeneutic Stances of Charles Olson, Robert Creeley, and Robert Duncan) in 2007.

Lucy Burns is an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Manchester. She received her PhD, “Charles Olson in the Program Era: Projective Verse and Black Mountain Poetics” from the University of Manchester in 2019. She is currently working on the collected letters of Charles Olson and Henry Murray.

Amanda Cook lives in Gloucester with her husband, James, and children Ais and Samuel. She sees writing as an integral part of life. She knits, spins yarn, plays fiddle, feeds people and dances when she pleases. Her book, Ironstone Whirlygig, was published by Bootstrap Press in 2018.

Jonathan C. Creasy is a writer, filmmaker, musician, broadcaster and educator based in Dublin, Ireland. He is currently an Irish Research Council Fellow in University College Dublin, where he lectures in English and Creative Writing. Creasy is also founder and publisher at New Dublin Press and co-director of Dreamsong Films, both independent Irish companies. He is author of The Black Mountain Letters: Poems & Essays (Dalkey Archive Press) and editor of Black Mountain Poems (New Directions).

Jeff Gardiner is an independent scholar who has published essays and delivered talks on Olson’s poetry and poetics, including talks at the annual ReVIEWING Black Mountain College conference. He has taught classes on Olson’s poetics at the Ruth Asawa School of the Arts in San Francisco and he serves as the co-host of the Charles Olson Society panels at the American Literature Association (ALA) Annual Conference.

Ben Hall is a Detroit-based artist and composer. He received his undergraduate degree from Bennington College where he focused on Quaker-based mediation and conflict resolution and studied drums with Milford Graves. Hall produces new American improvisation on his record labels brokenresearch and Ornette Coleman Fiend Club, including the last small group recordings of visionary trumpeter and composer Bill Dixon. His practice also includes curating Bap-tizum.com, the world’s largest online Black American spiritual collection. Hall has written for The Wire and BOMB and was profiled in Fred Moten’s book Black and Blur (Consent not to be a single being). His upcoming 2021 exhibition at Essex Flowers is titled Jives n Gambles and focuses on the work of Philip Guston and William Faulkner as interlocutors of racism.

Ant M Lobo is a queer curator, artist, and writer. They studied studio art with a concentration in analog processes in photography at Appalachian State University. Their studio practice and scholarly research are heavily focused on and influenced by Queer Modernism. Much of Ant’s work explores queer narratives, sexuality, and gender. Ant’s work was most recently published in Pilot Press London’s Queer Anthology of Wilderness and Paul Soulellis’ URGENCY READER 2. Ant is also the Director of Exhibitions at VAE Raleigh.

Ben Miller is the author of River Bend Chronicle. An excerpt from it all melts down to this: a novel in timelines will appear in Best American Experimental Writing 2020. His awards include creative writing fellowships from the NEA, the Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Study at Harvard University, and the South Dakota Arts Council.

Sherrill Roland is an artist based in Raleigh, NC. He has had solo exhibitions at Georgetown University in Washington, DC; the Borough of Manhattan Community College in New York City and Artspace in Raleigh and Greensboro Project Space, both in North Carolina. Among groups shows in which he was represented are those at the Studio Museum in Harlem and three other venues in New York City; the Weatherspoon Art Museum in Greensboro and the Harvey Gantt Center for African American Arts + Culture in Charlotte, both in North Carolina; CAM Houston in Texas; Addison Gallery of American Art in Andover, MA; and Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo. At many of those venues and others, Roland has presented performances, including at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Cleveland, OH; Princeton University in New Jersey; and Alcatraz Island and Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE), both in California. Roland holds a BFA and MFA from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and studied at Manchester Metropolitan University in Britain and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine. Roland has been listed as a 2020 Spring Art for Justice Fund grantee, as well as being the 2020 South Arts State Fellow for North Carolina and Grand Prize Winner.

Julie Sylvester is a curator and the author of John Chamberlain: A Catalogue Raisonné of the Sculpture 1954–1985. She is the former Associate Curator of Contemporary Art at the State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia, where she curated the first contemporary exhibitions in the institution’s history: Louise Bourgeois, Cy Twombly and Willem de Kooning. Her concentration in the past years has been on exhibitions and writings on Cy Twombly.

Robert P. Ward is an adjunct lecturer in English at Brown University and Rhode Island School of Design. He has published two books: Understanding James Leo Herlihy (University of South Carolina Press, 2012) and the edited volume Nelson Algren: A Collection of Critical Essays (Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2007). He has also published essays in The Idea of the City (Cambridge Scholars), The Anacronist: Journal of English and American Studies (Eötvös Loránd University), EAPSU: A Journal of Critical and Creative Work (Pennsylvania State University), the Encyclopedia of the Romantic Era (Routledge), Lifewriting Annual: Biographical and Autobiographical Studies (AMS Press), Resources for American Literary Study(Pennsylvania State University Press), and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism (Layman Poupard).  He is currently working on an article about the theory and practice of revision.

Ronaldo V. Wilson, PhD, is the author of: Narrative of the Life of the Brown Boy and the White Man (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2008), winner of the Cave Canem Prize; Poems of the Black Object (Futurepoem, 2009), winner of the Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry and the Asian American Literary Award in Poetry. His latest books are Farther Traveler: Poetry, Prose (Couterpath Press, 2014), finalist for a Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry, Lucy 72 (1913 Press, 2018); and two forthcoming books Carmelina, Figures: An Artist’s Book (Wendy’s Subway, 2021), and a book of stories, Virgil Kills (Nightboat Books, 2022). Co-founder of the Black Took Collective, Wilson is also a mixed media artist, dancer and performer. He has performed in multiple venues, including the Pulitzer Arts Foundation, UC Riverside’s Artsblock, Georgetown’s Lannan Center, Southern Exposure Gallery, the Atlantic Center for the Arts, and Louisiana State University’s Digital Media Center Theater, Southern Exposure Gallery, and Casa Victoria Ocampo in Buenos Aires.  The recipient of fellowships from The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, Cave Canem, the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, the Ford Foundation, Kundiman, MacDowell, the National Research Council, the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, the Center for Art and Thought (CA+T), and Yaddo, Co-Founder of the Black Took Collective, Wilson is Professor of Creative Writing and Literature at the University of California, Santa Cruz, serving on the core faculty of the Creative Critical PhD Program.


Thomas Edward Frank is University Professor and Associate Dean for Continuing Studies in the Graduate School of Wake Forest University. He teaches and writes about American communities of ideals, particularly liberal arts colleges and utopian movements, as well as the conservation of the natural and built landscapes that tell the stories of how American culture developed.

Carissa Pfeiffer is the Development Manager at the Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center in Asheville, NC. She holds an MS in Library and Information Science + an Advanced Certificate in Archives from Pratt Institute.

Kate Averett is a writer and curator based in Asheville, North Carolina, where she serves as Outreach Manager at the Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center. She also manages Hysterics, a blog and podcast highlighting stories about gender, disability, and chronic and mental illness. She received her MA in Art History from UNC Chapel Hill in 2017.