Alumni Bookshelf

Scroll down to learn about some of the many titles produced by alumni of the East Carolina University Department of English.

Rick Atkinson

 An Army At Dawn cover

A 1974 graduate of the ECU English department, Atkinson won a Pulitzer Prize in History for this book. (He's also won two Pulitzer Prizes for reporting.)

 Crusade cover

 The Day of Battle cover

 The Long Gray Line cover

 The Guns at Last Light cover

 In the Company of Soldiers cover

Meghan Bliss

 Little Universe cover

Bliss is a writer and editor whose creative work has been published in Rust+Moth, Southern Women's Review, A Poetry Congeries, What the Fiction, Charlotte Writers Anthology, and Mary Jane's Farm, among others. She lives in Coastal North Carolina with her husband, Patrick, and writes at 

Michael K. Brantley

 Memory Cards: Portraits from a Rural Journey cover

Brantley is a North Carolina-based writer and currently works as a Visiting Assistant Professor of English at North Carolina Wesleyan College. He founded and edits the literary journal, What The Fiction.

Mary Carroll-Hackett

 If We Could Know Our Bones cover

Hackett earned Bachelor’s degrees in Philosophy and Anthropology and a Master’s degree in English/Creative Writing from East Carolina University. Her poetry and fiction have appeared in more than a hundred journals including Carolina Quarterly, Clackamas Literary Review, Pedestal Magazine, The Potomac, Reed, Superstition Review, Drunken Boat and The Prose-Poem Project, among others. Her awards include being named a North Carolina Blumenthal Writer and winner of the Willamette Award for Fiction.

 The Night I Heard Everything cover

 The Real Politics of Lipstick cover

 Karen Charmaine Blansfield

 Cheap Rooms and Restless Hearts cover

 Stacey Cochran

 Bayou cover

Cochran was a finalist for the 1998 Dell Magazines Award for Fiction, a finalist for the 2004 St. Martin’s Press/PWA Best First Private Eye Novel Contest, and a finalist for the 2011 James Hurst Prize for Fiction. His novel Eddie & Sunny was among the first ten novels acquired by Kindle Press through its Kindle Scout program and broke into Top 100 overall in the Kindle store in July 2015.

 Chromosome cover

 Claws cover

 colorado sequence cover

 Eddie and Sunny cover

 Eleanor cover


 The Loneliest

 Weight cover

James Dodson

 Faithful Travelers cover

Faithful Travelers was made into a CBS Movie of the Week called "Dodson's Journey." It is the story of a man dealing with divorce and the death of his father who takes his 10-year-old daughter on a cross-country camping and fishing journey, reminiscent of those he took with his father.

James Dodson graduated from ECU in 1975.

 American Triumvirate cover

 Beautiful Madness cover

 Ben Hogan: An American Life cover

Dewsweepers cover

 Final Rounds cover

Dodson is a Distinguished Alumnus of East Carolina University. Over the course of a 30-year golf writing career, his work has earned awards from the Golf Writers of America and other industry organizations. For two decades, he was a contributing editor and regular columnist for Golf Magazine, and golf and travel correspondent for the Departures magazine of American Express.

 A Son of the Game cover

Mark Kemp

 Dixie Lullaby cover

A graduate of East Carolina University, Kemp has served as music editor of Rolling Stone and vice president of music editorial for MTV Networks. In 1997, he received a Grammy nomination for his liner notes to the CD Farewells & Fantasies.

Al Maginnes

 Film History cover

A graduate of East Carolina University, Maginnes’ most recent books are Ghost Alphabet (White Pine Press, 2008), winner of the 2007 White Pine Poetry Prize, and two chapbooks published in 2010, Between States (Main Street Rag) and Greatest Hits 1987-2010 (Pudding House Publications). Maginnes has work appearing or forthcoming in Brilliant Corners, Tar River Poetry, Platte Valley Review, Harpur Palate, Asheville Poetry Review, Verdad, Poem, Cimmaron Review, and many others.

 Ghost Alphabet cover

Inventing Constellations: Poems by Al Maginnes (1994) was recently published by Cherry Grove Collections.

Inventing Constellations

 Light in Our Houses cover

Dan Maurer

 Snow Day cover

After graduating from East Carolina University, Maurer spent a combined seven years in the editorial departments of both Doubleday and Houghton Mifflin. While there, Maurer helped bring many notable books to market including John Grisham’s The Firm, Richard Price’s Clockers, and Jim Lovell and Jeffrey Kluger’s Lost Moon, which became the Ron Howard film Apollo 13.

Tim Peeler

 Easter Monday cover

 Checking Out

 Henry River cover

 Knuckle Bear cover

 Rough Beast cover

Constance Pierce

 Hope Mills cover

 Philipe at His Bath cover

 When Things Get Back to Normal cover

Erica Plouffe Lazure

 Dry Dock cover

Lazure is a graduate of East Carolina University earning a Master’s degree in Creative Writing. Lazure’s flash fiction collection, Heard Around Town (July 2015), won the 2014 Arcadia Fiction Chapbook Prize. Another chapbook, Dry Dock, was published by Red Bird Press in Spring 2015. Lazure’s fiction has appeared in McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, the Greensboro Review, Meridian, American Short Fiction, The Journal of Micro Literature, Fiction Southeast, and Flash: the International Short-Short Story Magazine (UK).

 Heard cover

David E. Poston

 Slow of study cover

Poston’s work has appeared in various journals, including Asheville Poetry Review, English Journal, Iodine Poetry Journal, Main Street Rag, Nerve Cowboy, and The Rain, Party, & Disaster Society, and has been widely anthologized. Poston is also the author of My Father Reading Greek and Postmodern Bourgeois Poetaster Blues, which won the North Carolina Writers’ Network’s Randall Jarrell/Harperprints Poetry Competition in 2007.

Winner of the N.C. Writers' Network's Randall Jarrell/Harperprints Chapbook Competition in 2007

Postmodern Bourgeois cover

Megan Roberts

Matters of Record cover 


Matters of Record, published with Finishing Line Press, is Megan Robert's (2008) first chapbook of poems. Roberts traces the roots of “Matters of Record” to a conversation in 2006 with Luke Whisnant, a writer and English professor at East Carolina University, where Roberts earned a master’s degree in English. She also won the 2010 Academy of American Poets Prize. She is currently working on her first novel, “Everything’s Only a Mile Away.” 

Christopher Salerno

 ATM cover

Salerno is the author of ATM (Georgetown Review Press, 2014). In January 2011, Christopher Salerno was interviewed by, Elizabeth Hildreth about Minimum Heroic.  His journal publications include: Boston Review, Fence, Denver Quarterly, Guernica, Colorado Review, Jubilat, Black Warrior Review, Tusculum Review, Verse Magazine, Drunken Boat, Mississippi Review, Jacket, American Letters and Commentary, Laurel Review, The Journal, Asheville Poetry Review, Salt Hill, Tar River Poetry, LIT, Electronic Poetry Review, New Hampshire Review, Jacket, etc.

 Minimum Heroic cover

 Whirligig cover

Leanne E. Smith


Smith was Associate Director of the ECU Poetry Forum for several years, she is active in the Folk Arts Society of Greenville and the Green Grass Cloggers. She currently serves on the board of the North Carolina Folklore Society, and after two years as Assistant Editor of the North Carolina Folklore Journal, she was named editor in summer 2014. Smith joined the ECU English faculty in Spring 2007.

June Sylvester Saraceno 

 Altars cover

Saraceno received a BA in English from East Carolina University. Her work, both poetry and fiction, has appeared widely in journals including American Journal of Nursing, Silk Road, Smartish Pace, Southwestern American Literature, Tar River Poetry, and Worcester Review. Her second full-length collection of poetry, of Dirt and Tar, was released in 2014 by Cherry Grove Collections. The title Altars of Ordinary Light is apropos for a book that seeks to shed light on ordinary living -- childhood, family, marriage, womanhood. Saraceno's verse is accessible, yet filled with vivid imagery. Each poem begs to be reread to gain understanding of not only the poet but the reader. -- Ellen Hopkins, author of Crank, Burned, Impulse, Identical, Tricks, Fallout and more. June Sylvester Saraceno published Altars of Ordinary Light with Plain View Press in 2007.

 Of Dirt and Tar cover

Luke Whisnant

 Above Flood Stage cover

Whisnant is a former graduate of East Carolina University, Whisnant is a two-time recipient of the department's Bertie Fearing Excellence in Teaching Award, is the author of Down in the Flood (stories); Watching TV with the Red Chinese (novel); and two poetry chapbooks, Street and Above Floodstage. His fiction and poetry have appeared in many journals and magazines in the U.S., including Esquire, Arts & Letters, American Short Fiction, Poetry East, and others, and internationally in Frank (France), Revista Neo (Portugal), and Flash: The International Short-Short Story Magazine (England). Whisnant joined the ECU English faculty in 1982.


Whisnant earned his B.A. in Writing from ECU in 1979

Down in the Flood cover

 Street cover

 watching tv with the red chinese cover

Theresa Williams

 The Secret of Hurricanes cover

Williams is a former student at East Carolina University. Williams is the recipient of an Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council and her novel, The Secret of Hurricanes, and was a finalist for the Paterson Fiction Prize.

 Amy Willoughby-Burle

 Out Across Nowhere cover

Willoughby-Burle graduated with a BA in English and was in the process of completing a Masters in Creative Writing from East Carolina University. Her fiction has appeared in numerous literary journals such as Potomac Review, Inkwell, Sycamore Review, Reed Magazine, The MacGuffin and many others.

Dawn DeAnna Wilson

 Leaving cover

 St. Jude cover

 Ten Thousand New Year's Eves cover

 Kayaking cover

Wilson is a graduate of East Carolina University earning her Master’s degree in Creative Writing. Wilson has also received numerous awards for her writing from the Carolinas Health Care PR Society and the NC Poetry Society. She was a semi-finalist for the Doris Betts Fiction Competition, and her work has appeared in such publications as Byline, Writer's Digest, Evangel, and The Lutheran Journal.

 Welcome to Shangri-la, North Carolina cover

Wilson is a graduate of East Carolina University earning her Master’s degree in Creative Writing. Wilson has also received numerous awards for her writing from the Carolinas Health Care PR Society and the NC Poetry Society. She was a semi-finalist for the Doris Betts Fiction Competition, and her work has appeared in such publications as Byline, Writer's Digest, Evangel, and The Lutheran Journal.