2010 East TN Writers Hall of Fame Inductees
Congratulations to our 2010 East Tennessee Writers Hall of Fame Inductees! FICTION
Loletta Clouse is a novelist who was raised in East Tennessee. She grew up in a family of story tellers on the Cumberland Homesteads near Crossville, where her grandparents had been original Homesteaders on a New Deal project created by Roosevelt. Her novels are based on actual events in Tennessee history and are set in areas throughout East Tennessee, such as the Smoky Mountains. She claims that Appalachia shaped her identity as a person and as a writer, and that she is never tired of writing about the area. Clouse received her B. S. degree from Tennessee Tech University in Secondary Education. She earned her Masters of Library Science from Peabody College/Vanderbilt. While still in college she got a job with the Upper Cumberland Regional Library where she drove a bookmobile into five rural counties. After working as a librarian for the Knox County Public Library for twenty five years, she retired. Now, she writes full time.
Bruce Wheeler is a retired professor of history at the University of Tennessee and a writer of both Tennessee and American history. Wheeler attended Duke University, and during this time his career goal was to become a high school teacher. However, when the federal government began partially subsidizing graduate student costs in 1961, Bruce decided to attend graduate school and then teach at the collegiate level. Bruce taught at Lynchburg College, Ohio University, SUNY Cortland, and Northern Illinois University before finally finding permanence at the University of Tennessee, where he stayed for 35 years in the History Department, retiring in 2005. In his 40 years at U.T., Bruce taught thousands of undergraduate and graduate students, and gave hundreds of talks to civic groups and leadership organizations. In the meantime, he has authored, co-authored, or edited numerous books. When not teaching or writing, Wheeler serves on the Board of Advisors of the Tennessee Library Association and is on the Board of Directors of the Wears Valley Volunteer Fire Department.
Edward Francisco is a poet, novelist, essayist, playwright, and scholar. He is the author of eight books, including Death, Child, and Love, a volume of poetry nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, and The Dealmaker, a novel that was also a Pulitzer Prize nominee. Francisco’s most recent collection of verse, The Alchemy of Words, was one of Small Press Review’s top picks for 2008. He was also principal editor of The South in Perspective, and an anthology of Southern literature from 1585 to the present, published by Prentice-Hall Publishers. Francisco’s poems, stories, essays, and plays have appeared in more than a hundred magazines and journals, including the Southern Review, Kansas Quarterly, William and Mary Review, Mudfish, English Journal, Lambs and Trochees and New Mexico Humanities Review. Professor Francisco is also a member of the Oxford Roundtable at the University of Oxford, England.
Alex Haley was a best-selling African American writer, born in Ithaca, New York in 1922. At age 15, Haley enrolled at Alcorn State University. Two years later he returned home to inform his parents of his withdrawal from college. Soon after, he began his twenty-year enlistment with the Coast Guard. It was during his service in the Pacific theater of operations that Haley taught himself to write stories. After WWII, Haley petitioned the Coast Guard to transfer him into the field of journalism, and he became the first Chief Journalist in the Coast Guard. After retiring from the Coast Guard, Haley began writing in earnest. His first book, The Autobiography of Malcolm X, was published in 1965, and in 1976, he published Roots: The Saga of an American Family, a novel based on his family's history. Roots was adapted into a popular television miniseries in 1977, and it reached a record-breaking 130 million viewers. When Haley died of a heart attack in 1992, he left a second historical novel behind unfinished. At his request, it was finished by David Stevens and was published as Alex Haley's Queen. Haley moved to East Tennessee in the early 1980s. He owned property in Norris and in Knoxville. His farm in Clinton, TN is now owned by the Children's Defense Fund.
Cynthia Moxley is a regular blogger and CEO and founder of Moxley Carmichael, a full service public relations firm located in downtown Knoxville. From 1980 to 1990, Moxley was an award-winning journalist for The Knoxville Journal and the first female city editor in Knoxville. She was primarily responsible for covering business, government, politics and the media, and she spent two years covering state government in Nashville. Today, Moxley’s firm represents some of the largest and best-known companies in East Tennessee. Some of the firm’s clients are Pilot Flying J, Rural/Metro Corporation, KUB, Home Federal Bank, Covenant Health System, Summit Medical Group, the Knoxville Convention Center, U.S. Cellular and the News Sentinel. In addition to public relations and marketing, Moxley Carmichael is a leader in social media. Moxley’s blog “The Blue Streak: What you never knew you needed to know” is found on the Moxley Carmichael website and is updated very frequently.