The Mary Renault Society

The Triangle Area of North Carolina

Wilton Barnhardt Returns

Wilton Barnhardt

MRS members will remember two earlier presentations to the group by Mr. Wilton Barnhardt, a faculty member in the NC State University Master of Fine Arts program (which he directed in its early years). This time (May 31, not our regular day of May 24) we’ll have the experience of joining him in our state-ordered homes via Zoom (don’t forget – log in beforehand around 7:20).

Wilton Barnhardt was born in Winston-Salem and seriously resolved to abandon Our Fair State in favor of traveling the world. After studying at Michigan State University, he moved to New York, where he became 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 for an M. Phil. Since then he has been involved in writing programs at the University of California-Irvine, the University of Alabama-Tuscaloosa, Caltech, Warren Wilson College, and eventually NC State.

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). His latest publication (2019) is as editor of the unusual anthology Every True Pleasure: LGBTQ Tales of North Carolina (UNC Press), which includes works by 20 NC natives or NC-based writers (from across the spectrum: gay, trans, bisexual, and straight – one of whom also has spoken to us: Randall Kenan). Publishers Weekly features a description of the anthology (and Amazon offers it cheaper than the list price).


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