Sponsored by the Eudora Welty Foundation, this annual lecture celebrates creative origins in the spirit of Welty’s treasured One Writer’s Beginnings.
Jesmyn Ward is a MacArthur Genius and two-time National Book Award winner. In 2017, she became the first woman and first person of color to win the National Book Award twice—joining the ranks of William Faulkner, Saul Bellow, John Cheever, Philip Roth, and John Updike.
Her writing encompasses fiction, nonfiction, and memoir. Ward’s Salvage the Bones was the winner of the 2011 National Book Award and is a troubling but ultimately empowering tale of familial bonds set amid the chaos of the hurricane. Her memoir, Men We Reaped, deals with the loss of five young men in her life—to drugs, accidents, suicide, and the bad luck that follows people who live in poverty. In 2016, Ward edited the critically acclaimed anthology The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks About Race, a New York Times bestseller. Her newest novel, the critically acclaimed Sing, Unburied, Sing won the 2017 National Book Award.
Ward is an associate professor of creative writing at Tulane University.
Learn more about the Eudora Welty Foundation.