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Department of English Spring Homecoming

Department of English Spring Homecoming

In Honor of Timothy Dow Adams and Gail Galloway Adams

Schedule of Events: Thursday, April 26

Betty Boyd Lounge, E. Moore Hall
  • 10 a.m. Reception
  • 10:30 a.m. Alumni panel featuring Heather Hartley, Tony Michael and Meagan Szekely
  • 1:30 p.m. Music by Annie Stroud and Jake Maynard
  • 2 p.m. Reading by fiction writer Gail Adams and tribute to Tim and Gail Adams    
  • 3 p.m. Music by Annie Stroud and Jake Maynard

Milano Reading Room, WVU Downtown Library 
  • 7:30 p.m. MFA graduation reading featuring Bryce Berkowitz, Natalie Homer, Meredith Jeffers, Jake Maynard, Maggie Montague, Kat Saunders and Natalie Updike

Alumni Panelists

Heather Hartley
Heather Hartley is the author of “Adult Swim” and “Knock Knock”, both from Carnegie Mellon University Press, and is Paris editor for Tin House magazine. She has presented writers at Shakespeare and Company Bookshop and has taught at the American University of Paris and in the University of Texas El Paso’s MFA online program. She is poetry and strategic adviser for The Creative Process. She graduated from WVU in 1993 with a Bachelor of Arts in English and a minor in French, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa. She received a Master of Arts in French from Middlebury College in 1996. 

Tony Michael 
Tony Michael is director of the WVU Extension Service Family and Community Development program and an associate professor in Extension’s Institute for Labor Studies and Research. His advanced degrees include a Master of Arts in English and Juris Doctorate, both from WVU. A native of Talcott, West Virginia, he is an accomplished educator and facilitator who has taught workforce education from coast to coast and in Canada for labor organizations and employers alike. He holds a training and communication certification from the National Curriculum and Training Institute and is a member of West Virginia’s Labor Hall of Fame.

Meagan Szekely
Meagan Szekely is the marketing manager at Naval Institute Press. Previously, she worked as an editorial assistant at Johns Hopkins University Press and as a graduate assistant at West Virginia University Press. Meagan has a master’s degree in professional writing and editing from West Virginia University. She has worked on books about Appalachian culture, Florida manatees, World War II spies, and Victorian shoes. A native of Huntington, West Virginia, Szekely now lives in Annapolis, Maryland with her husband and cat. She is passionate about books, Coca-Cola and West Virginia.


Jake Maynard is an MFA candidate in fiction at WVU and a self-taught musician. Originally from McKean County, Pennsylvania, he writes often about music and ecology. 

Annie Stroud is from a family of musicians in Greenbrier County, West Virginia. She is an apprentice fiddler in the West Virginia Folklife apprenticeship program, sponsored by the West Virginia Humanities Council. She studied music, political science and French at Hiram College, and plays her grandmother's heirloom violin. 

About Gail Galloway Adams
Gail Galloway Adams is a professor emeritus at WVU, where she taught creative writing for over 20 years and was named a national C.A.S.E. Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Mellon Foundation. 

Winner of the Flannery O’Connor Award in Short Fiction, Adams served as fiction editor for Arts and Letters: A Literary Journal and for The Potomac Review. She has been a reader/judge for the Flannery O’Connor Award Series, the AWP Prize in Short Fiction, the Iowa Prize in Short Story, the O. Henry Prize and the Thomas Wolfe prize. She regularly reviews fiction submissions for presses and is an active outside reader for MFA theses at several creative writing programs. 

Still an active teacher, she has taught recently at Kenyon, West Virginia Wesleyan and Wild Acres Writers Workshop. She also works privately as a short story/novel editorial consultant. She lives in an 1853 farmhouse on her parents’ land outside Austin, Texas, where much time is spent talking about the drought. More time is spent reading, re-reading, writing, editing, thinking about literature and life, and trying to memorize a poem a week. 

About Timothy Dow Adams

Timothy Dow Adams (December 11, 1943 – October 25, 2014) graduated with a Bachelor of Science from Columbia University, a Master of Arts in English from the University of Texas-Austin and a Doctor of Philosophy from Emory University with a dissertation in the field of autobiography, which was the basis for his first book, “Telling Li(v)es in Modern American Autobiography.” An early scholar in what is now known as life-writing, Adams was a founding member of a/b: Auto/Biography Studies and helped establish the field as a respected area of literary study. His second book, “Light Writing and Life Writing: Photography in Autobiography” also broke new ground in its insistence that “lives, like light, exist simultaneously as both particle and wave.”

Longtime chair of the Department of English, Adams once wrote to the dean: “I see that there are rewards associated with the position—a sense of setting a positive tone of openness, fairness and shared governance; the chance to help newly hired faculty adjust; and the opportunity to bring together some of the Department’s disparate strands by establishing that I have agreed to be the chair for everyone in the Department, no matter what their particular position or history.”

Adams described his retirement this way: “I do whatever I want to which includes sleeping late (despite roosters crowing around), reading every inch of the paper, working on the many farm-related tasks such as pulling poison ivy, mowing the acres, fighting wasps, etc. My main occupation is riding my bicycle.”  Of the pre-Civil War farmhouse, he wrote, “It looks like the Gudger place in ‘Let Us Now Praise Famous Men,’ but on the inside it looks like a country cottage for retired English professors.”

He loved basketball (North Carolina Tarheels), barbecue (the defunct Pig Pit in Arkadelphia), blues (Muddy Waters, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Howling Wolf) and bicycling. The last stack of books on his bedside table included Eudora Welty’s “Curtain of Green,” a biography of a little-known jazz musician/junkie, and a book on the Tour de France. His last words jotted on a sticky note on the front door: “Out in the wind.”