Volume 9 Contributor Bios

Volume 9: Archives and Histories

Nicholas Cords is Co-Artistic Director of Silkroad, violist for Brooklyn Rider and Faculty at the New England Conservatory of Music. For more than two decades, omnivorous violist Nicholas Cords has been on the front line of a growing constellation of projects as performer, educator, and cultural advocate. He is deeply committed to music from a broad variety of traditions and epochs, with a particular passion for the cross-section between the long tradition of classical music and the polyglot music of today.

Tyler Laminack is a writer, performer, and editor living in Chicago. Born in North Carolina, Tyler has spent the past few years studying the history, myth, and spirit of Black Mountain College. His thesis A New Art of Living: The Three Ecologies of Black Mountain College explores the intersection of art, environment, and community. He’s currently at work on a novel that investigates that same intersection, only with a mysterious and possibly apocalyptic mail art campaign circulating at its center.

Lisa McCarty is an artist, curator, and educator based in Durham, North Carolina. McCarty has participated in over 70 exhibitions and screenings at venues such as the American University Museum, Amherst College’s Eli Marsh Gallery, Carnegie Museum of Art, Chicago Photography Center, Fruitlands Museum, Griffin Museum of Photography, Houston Center for Photography, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, and the Visual Studies Workshop. McCarty’s photographs have also been featured in a variety of international festivals including Noorderlicht, Picture Berlin, and Sören Kierkegaard in Images, while her moving images have been screened at the New York Film Festival, Chicago Underground Film Festival, Experiments in Cinema, Cairo Video Festival, Encounters Short Film & Animation Festival, and Alchemy Film & Moving Image Festival. Her first book as a contributing writer and editor, William Gedney: Only the Lonely, 1955-1984 (co-written with Gilles Mora and Margaret Sartor), was published by the University of Texas Press and Editions Hazan in 2017. Her first book of photographs, Transcendental Concord, was published by Radius Books in 2018. McCarty received a MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts from Duke University. She currently teaches at Duke’s Center for Documentary Studies and is curator of the Archive of Documentary Arts.

Ben Miller’s prose has appeared in Best American EssaysOne StorySouthern ReviewHarvard Review, New England ReviewRaritan, AGNI, and elsewhere. He is the author of River Bend Chronicle (Lookout Books) and the recipient of awards from the National Endowment for the Arts (fellowship), the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University (fellowship) and the Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America (research grant).

Joseph Pizza completed his DPhil in English Language and Literature from the University of Oxford in 2012. He is currently an Associate Professor of English at Belmont Abbey College,  where he teaches courses in modern and contemporary literature. In addition to his work on Dan Rice and Robert Creeley, he has also written recently on Charles Olson, Nathaniel Mackey, and Harryette Mullen.

Heather South is Lead Archivist of the Western Regional Archives, Department of Cultural Resources, State of North Carolina. The Western Regional Archives (WRA) collects, preserves, and makes available for public use historical and evidential materials relating to western North Carolina. Their collection of Black Mountain College related materials is an invaluable resource for BMC researchers.

Kirsten Stolle is a visual artist examining issues of corporate propaganda, environmental politics, and biotechnology. Exhibitions include NOME (Berlin), Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (NC), Tracey Morgan Gallery (NC), and the San Jose Museum of Art (CA). She is a Pollock-Krasner Grant recipient and her work has been published in Poetry Magazine, SLICE, Spolia Literary Magazine, and New American Paintings.

Mabel Capability Taylor was born in Louisville, Kentucky, raised in Muir Beach, California, and lives in Brooklyn, New York. She graduated from Barnard College in 2018 with a degree in American Studies. She presented her research on M.C. Richards at the ReViewing Black Mountain College Conference in 2018. Currently, she works at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Dale Williams has exhibited in the New York City area over the past 25 years. He is a 2014 recipient of a fellowship in Printmaking/Drawing/Book Arts from the New York Foundation for the Arts. His most recent one-person show, “America Now Suite,” which re-visioned American history in service of the civic imagination, was held at Gowanus Loft (Brooklyn) in October 2018. A selection of portraits from “America Now Suite” was included in the BRIC Biennial, February – April 2019. (BRIC is Brooklyn’s premier cultural institution). A show of drawings from phase 2 of his ongoing collaborative project with writer Ben Miller, “Cage Dies Bird Flies,” was held at the Center for Literary Arts of Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, Iowa, April 2019; a performance was staged to coincide with the exhibition.  His work has been published in BOMB, EcotoneInverted SyntaxBat City Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review and other print and on-line journals. He studied art at the Cooper Union, Hunter College and Cal Arts.


Julie J. Thomson is an independent scholar and curator who lives in Durham, NC. She works as the Naturalist at the Eno River State Park and Occoneechee Mountain. She is the co-editor of the Journal of Black Mountain College Studies, the editor of That Was The Answer: Interviews with Ray Johnson and in 2017 she curated the exhibition Begin To See: The Photographers of Black Mountain College at the Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center.

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.

Kate Averett (Production Editor) 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.