Directory

L. Lamar Wilson

L. Lamar Wilson

Assistant Professor

Education

  • PhD, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
  • MFA, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
  • B.S., Newspaper Journalism, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University

Research Areas

  • Creative Writing (Modern-isms, Documentary Poetics)
  • African-American Literature
  • Multi-ethnic American Literature (Afro-Latinx, Indigenous American)
  • Gender and Sexuality Studies
  • Theories of Sound, Performance
  • Film Studies
  • Contemporary Poetics

Bio

L. Lamar Wilson’s documentary poetics has produced two poetry collections and a film. Sacrilegion (Carolina Wren Press, 2013) was a finalist for the Thom Gunn Award, and Prime: Poetry and Conversation (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2014)—co-authored with Phillip B. Williams, Rickey Laurentiis, Saeed Jones, and Darrel Alejandro Holnes—was heralded on several “best of” lists. The Changing Same, a documentary short, won a special jury prize at the 2018 New Orleans Film Festival and has been acquired to air in 2019 in PBS’s POV series. His poems and essays have appeared at the Academy of American Poets/Poets.org, African American Review, Black Gay Genius (2014), Callaloo, Crab Orchard Review, Crazyhorse, Hunger Mountain, jubilat, Muzzle, The 100 Best African American Poems (2010), Oxford American, Please Excuse This Poem: 100 Poets for the Next Generation (2015), Prairie Schooner, Rattle, Vinyl, The Washington Post/The Root, and elsewhere. Whereas some writers frame police brutality and white nationalist violence in urban environments as a recent upsurge, his current book project uses the personae of black and brown folk in the rural South to contend with current events on a continuum with past centuries’ homegrown terror.

Wilson, a Florida A&M University alumnus, holds an MFA from Virginia Tech and a doctorate in African American and multiethnic American poetics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He teaches creative writing at The University of Alabama and in the low-residency MFA program at Mississippi University for Women.

In addition to the Thom Gunn recognition, Sacrilegion was the 2012 selection for the Carolina Wren Press Poetry Series and a 2013 Independent Publisher Group bronze medalist and was lauded in Lambda Literary Online, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Muzzle, Pedestal, Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, Vinyl, and elsewhere. Sacrilegion has been adapted for the stage, commissioned by Reading Queer for a workshop performance with classical musicians in 2015 and a full production by the Mickee Faust Club in Tallahassee, Fla.’s Adelaide Schnittman Hall in 2017.

Wilson, also an award-winning journalist, joins UA after editing for nearly two decades at The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Charlotte Observer/The McClatchy Co., The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and in other newsrooms.

Wilson’s scholarly research charts charts resistance across two-and-half centuries from Lucy Terry Prince to Natasha Trethewey, along the way surveying literature often read through the surface valence of mourning. It offers kweer—the self-affirming, early-Middle English allomorph of queer that links protest to choral song—as an alternative lens to examine the wails, cries, and moans emanating from black mothers and their children rather than parsing the androcentric outbursts of black male writers that often undergird readings of blackness as Other. Wilson’s work has earned fellowships from the Cave Canem Foundation, the Callaloo Workshops, the Blyden & Roberta Jackson Fund, the Poynter Foundation, the Association of Opinion Journalists, and elsewhere.

Publications, Stage Productions, Films

FILM

Documentary

  • The Changing Same. Field Producer. 27 August 2017-Present. With Rada Film Group. Post-production. Special jury prize, New Orleans Film Festival (October 2018).

DRAMA

  • Sacrilegion: The Gospel Truth.  Mickee Faust Club. Adelaide Schnittman Hall. Tallahassee, Fla. 2-3 June 2017.
    • Full staging of one-act play with cast of Faust players, featured on WFSU (88.9 -FM, see below), Tallahassee Democrat, com and WTXL-ABC.
    • Reading Queer Festival. Miami Botanical Gardens. Miami Gardens, Fla. 30 August 2014.
    • Dramatic reading/workshop of a draft of the one-act, with three operatic singers (tenor, baritone, and bass), featured in The Miami Herald, Miami New Times, and other local media.

POETRY 

Monographs

  • Sacrilegion (Carolina Wren Press, 2013), CWP Poetry Series #16 selection & prize winner.
    • Finalist, Thom Gunn Award (2014)
    • Bronze medalist, Independent Publisher Book Group Award (2013)

Co-Authored Books

  • Prime: Poetry and Conversation. Sibling Rivalry Press, 2014.
    • Named among titles in American Library Association’s “Over the Rainbow” list for 2015

Selected Poems

CREATIVE NONFICTION PUBLICATIONS & JOURNALISM

 (as L.L. Wilson, Lamar Wilson and L. Lamar Wilson)

“Queen of Snow Hill.” Oxford American (Winter 2018): 136-143.

“Falling to Fly: Letting the Black Female Within Guide as White Supremacy Thrives.” VIDA Review Feature. 9 April 2018.

“Queer Black Avant-Garde Poetics: On Being Guilty of Excessive Darkness in the First Degree.” The Force of What Is Possible: Writers on Accessibility and the Avant-Garde Writers on Accessibility and the Avant-Garde. Ed. Amy King and Lily Hoang. Brooklyn: Nightboat Books, 2014.

“These Mythologizing Is: On Tending to the Past and Autobiography.” Poets’ Roundtable on Person and Persona.
Los Angeles Review of Books. 22 October 2013.

“Silence and Shame in the Black Church.” The Root. 26 October 2011.

“ ‘The Help’: Missed Opportunities.” The Root. 13 August 2011.

“One Man’s Horizons Opened Through E. Lynn Harris’s Unabashed Romances.” Washington Post. 24 July 2009.

“Q&A/NIKKI GIOVANNI: ‘You have to learn to trust yourself.’” Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 30 January 2007.

“Morrison brings us face to face with the blood, pain of slavery.” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. 24 May 2003.

“Singing with dignity and defiance: Simone’s songs, style demanded attention.” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. 22 April 2003.

“Seeing ‘Souls of Black Folk’ through prism of a century.” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. 4 April 2003.

SCHOLARLY PUBLICATIONS

Peer-Reviewed Articles

  • ” ‘The Sweet Meat of My Feelings’: The Ghost of LeRoi Jones and the Rebirth of a Nation.” Callaloo (Forthcoming)
  • “‘She Is Twenty-Three Months Pregnant’: The Quaring of Black Maternity in Bob Kaufman’s Surreal Migration Narratives.” Obsidian 41.2 (2015): 335-431.

Book Reviews

  • Brother Mine: The Correspondence of Jean Toomer and Waldo Frank. Callaloo 37.3 (Summer 2014): 735-739.
  • “The Beauty of Troubled Tongues.” Post No Ills. January 2010.

Selected Publications