Acclaimed Writer Rose McLarney Named UM Summer Poet In Residence

Rose McLarney is the University of Mississippi’s 2017 Summer Poet in Residence. Photo by Nicole McConville

Rose McLarney, an acclaimed writer and professor whose work is deeply rooted in the South, is the University of Mississippi’s 10th Summer Poet in Residence.

McLarney will be on campus through July 15 teaching undergraduate classes and working with emerging writers in the Department of English’s Master of Fine Arts program. She also will give a reading at Off Square Books at 5:30 p.m. June 29. A book signing at 5 p.m. will precede the free event. 

McLarney’s two poetry collections came out in a two-year period, and she is working on her third and fourth manuscripts. She said she looks forward to working with students here and soaking up the rich culture of the LOU community. 

“Since the first book was published, following an academic career, I have moved between four states and all around the country,” McLarney said. “Currently, I am at work on my third and fourth poetry manuscripts. I very much welcome the time to write granted by the residency.

“And having the chance to participate in a residency that allows me to stay in the South, where my poetry has always been rooted, will be especially beneficial.”

“Its Day Being Gone,” which is the winner of the National Poetry Series, and “The Always Broken Plates of Mountains” are her first two published collections.

The MacDowell Colony, Bread Loaf and Sewanee Writers’ Conferences and Warren Wilson College all have awarded McLarney fellowships. She was the 2016 Dartmouth Poet in Residence at the Frost Place and winner of the Chaffin Award at Morehead State University, and she also won the Fellowship of Southern Writers’ New Writing Award for Poetry.

McLarney’s poems have appeared in The Kenyon Review, The Southern Review, New England Review, Missouri Review and many other publications. 

She earned her master’s degree from Warren Wilson’s MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College and has taught there and at other institutions. She is assistant professor of creative writing at Auburn University and co-editor in chief and poetry editor of The Southern Humanities Review.

The LOU literary community looks forward to hosting a talent of McLarney’s caliber, said Beth Ann Fennelly, UM English professor, Summer Poet in Residence director and Mississippi’s poet laureate. 

“We are excited that Rose will be living here for a month, working on her poetry and visiting classes,” Fennelly said. “Her poems are imagine-rich, steeped in the Southern vernacular. She’s from Appalachia and has a deep attention to the natural world and the way we build community through stories.”

Nadia Alexis, a poetry MFA student who helps with the SPiR program, said as a young writer, she is especially looking forward to a chance to spend time with McLarney. 

“In addition to the class visits in which Rose will be doing a range of enriching presentations for undergraduates, MFA students will also have the benefit of meeting with her in a literary salon setting,” Alexis said. “As writers who are in the earlier stages of our careers, I’m excited we’ll have the opportunity to get to know and learn from such a talented, accomplished poet.”


By Michael Newsom

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