Northeast Alabama Community College (NACC) in Rainsville, Alabama, held its annual Arts and Humanities Speakers Forum on March 10, 2016, featuring award-winning author George Singleton. Singleton addressed a group of over 250 in the college’s Tom Bevill Lyceum and followed his presentation with a book signing. That evening Singleton spoke to a standing room only audience of more than 75 in the college’s library, which was also followed with a book signing and reception. Special guests attending the evening session included Calhoun instructor, Dr. Leigh Ann Rhea and some of her students. On Friday morning, Mr. Singleton returned to Northeast and conducted a master class with instructor Joan Reeves’ English 252 class.
Singleton was born in Anaheim, California, but was raised in Greenwood, South Carolina. After receiving a B.A. in Philosophy from Furman University in 1980, Singleton went to the University of North Carolina at Greensboro where he received his MFA. Singleton taught creative writing and editing at the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities in Greensville, South Carolina, before accepting the John C. Cobb Endowed Chair in the Humanities at Wofford College in 2013. In 2009 Singleton was chosen as a Guggenheim Fellow, and in 2011 was awarded the Hillsdale Award for Fiction given by The Fellowship of Southern Writers. In 2015 he was recognized by The Fellowship of Southern Writers by being selected as one of its newest inductees.
Singleton has written two novels, Novel (2005) and Work Shirts for Madmen (2007). His most prolific work, however, has been in short fiction, having published seven collections, These People Are Us: Stories (2001), The Half-Mammals of Dixie (2002), Why Dogs Chase Cars: Tales of a Beleaguered Boyhood (2004), Drowning in Gruel (2006), Stray Decorum (2012), Between Wrecks (2014), and Calloustown (2015). In 2008 Singleton collaborated with Alabama native, Daniel Wallace, to write a piece of nonfiction entitled, Pep Talks, Warnings, and Screeds: Indispensable Wisdom and Cautionary Advice for Writers (2008). Joan Reeves, chair of the English and Fine Arts Division at Northeast, noted, “This year’s Speaker’s Forum was one of the most successful ones we have held, and that is because of George Singleton. Students enjoyed the quirky yet complex, sympathetic residents of Calloustown, but perhaps enjoyed Singleton’s readings and comments even more.”
Dr. David Campbell, President of NACC, began the Arts and Humanities Speaker’s Forum in 1994. Since that first year, the Forum has hosted such writers as Tom Franklin, Janisse Ray, Mary Hood, Dori Sanders, Thomas Cook, Ron Rash, Silas House, Pam Duncan, Sena Jeter Naslund, and Darnell Arnoult. This event is offered for the community as well as the students, faculty, and staff at Northeast and is co-sponsored by the college’s English and Fine Arts Division and Sigma Kappa Delta, the English honor society. For more information regarding the Arts and Humanities Speaker’s Forum, contact Joan Reeves, NACC Chair English and Fine Arts, at phone ext. 2231 or email@example.com.