The Mary Renault Society

The Triangle Area of North Carolina

Gay Ghosts? A Wilton Barnhardt Update

Wilton Barnhardt

Wilton Barnhardt was born in Winston-Salem and seriously resolved to abandon North Carolina in favor of traveling the world. After studying at Michigan State University, he moved to New York, where he was a reporter for Sports Illustrated magazine (and NASCAR geek at a time when no one up north cared about it). In the late 80’s, he went to graduate school at Oxford (where he got an M. Phil). His first novel, Emma Who Saved My Life, was published by St. Martin’s Press in 1989. Three more have followed: Gospel (1993), Show World (1998) and Lookaway, Lookaway (2013), and he’s working on a fifth. His collection of LGBTQ tales, all by NC natives or NC-based writers, is scheduled for 2019 (UNC Press), and he’s involved with ghost writing an autobiography of Wendy Wheelan, a principal dancer of the New York City Ballet.

Along the way, writing programs at the University of California-Irvine; the University of Alabama-Tuscaloosa; Caltech; Warren Wilson College; and eventually, NC State, wanted him in their ranks. Here he is a faculty member in the Master of Fine Arts program, which he directed in its early years.

For this visit, he has promised us the reading of a gay ghost story of his.


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