Barb Johnson



Barb Johnson worked as a carpenter in New Orleans for more than twenty years before receiving her MFA from the University of New Orleans. Her work has appeared in such magazines as Guernica, The Southern Review, and Oxford American, as well asin a number of anthologies, most recently Monday Nights. She is the author of the award-winning short story collection, More of This World or Maybe Another.



10 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.
State Capitol Building, Senate Committee Room F
Book Talk
Monday Nights: Stories from the Creative Writing Workshop at the University of New Orleans

11 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.
Barnes & Noble Bookselling Tent
Book Signing

1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
State Capitol Building, House Committee Room 2
Rough South, Rural South: Region and Class in Recent Southern Literature

2:15 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Barnes & Noble Bookselling Tent
Book Signing


Monday Nights: Stories from the Creative Writing Workshop at the University of New Orleans (contributor)

For the last twenty-five years, the fiction writers in the MFA program at the University of New Orleans have met on Monday nights to share and discuss their work, to study and enhance the craft of their calling. Not all the stories contained in this volume were produced for, and displayed in, Monday-night workshop, but all the writers included here devoted three years of Monday nights to sharpening their literary talents. This book celebrates the writers they have become. 




Rough South, Rural South: Region and Class in Recent Southern Literature (editor)


Contributions by Barbara Bennett, Thomas Ærvold Bjerre, Erik Bledsoe, Jean W. Cash, Linda Byrd Cook, Thomas E. Dasher, Robert Donahoo, Peter Farris, Richard Gaughran, William Giraldi, Rebecca Godwin, Joan Wylie Hall, Marcus Hamilton, Gary Hawkins, David K. Jeffrey, Emily Langhorne, Shawn E. Miller, Wade Newhouse, L. Lamar Nisly, bes Stark Spangler, Joe Samuel Starnes, and Scott Hamilton Suter

Essays in Rough South, Rural South describe and discuss the work of southern writers who began their careers in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. They fall into two categories. Some, born into the working class, strove to become writers and learned without the benefit of higher education, such writers as Larry Brown and William Gay. Others came from lower- or middle-class backgrounds and became writers through practice and education: Dorothy Allison, Tom Franklin, Tim Gautreaux, Clyde Edgerton, Kaye Gibbons, Silas House, Jill McCorkle, Chris Offutt, Ron Rash, Lee Smith, Brad Watson, Daniel Woodrell, and Steve Yarbrough. Their twenty-first-century colleagues are Wiley Cash, Peter Farris, Skip Horack, Michael Farris Smith, Barb Johnson, and Jesmyn Ward.

In his seminal article, Erik Bledsoe distinguishes Rough South writers from such writers as William Faulkner and Erskine Caldwell. These writers undercut stereotypes, forcing readers to see the working poor differently. The next pieces begin with those on Harry Crews and Cormac McCarthy, major influences on an entire generation. Nearly all of the writers hold a reverence for the South's landscape and its inhabitants as well as an af nity for realistic depictions of setting and characters.


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