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Michael Knight Professor, Director of Creative Writing Program

Michael Knight


511-A McClung Tower
Phone: (865) 974-6972


Michael Knight is the author of three novels (Divining RodThe Typist and At Briarwood School for Girls), three collections of short stories (Dogfight and Other StoriesGoodnight, Nobody and Eveningland) and a book of novellas (The Holiday Season). His most recent collection, Eveningland, was selected as an Editor’s Choice Pick by The New York Times and a Southern Book of the Year by Southern Living Magazine. His 2010 novel The Typist was selected as a Best Book of the Year by The Huffington Post and The Kansas City Star, among other places, and appeared on Oprah’s Summer Reading List in 2011. His short stories have appeared in magazines and journals like The New YorkerOxford AmericanParis ReviewPloughsharesSewanee Review and The Southern Review. His research interests include the contemporary novel, the short story and screenwriting.


  • MFA, University of Virginia
  • MA, University of Southern Mississippi
  • BA, Hampden-Sydney College



  • At Briarwood School for Girls (Atlantic Monthly Press, 2019)
  • Eveningland (Atlantic Monthly Press, 2017)
  • The Typist (Atlantic Monthly Press, 2010)
  • The Holiday Season (Grove, 2007)
  • Goodnight, Nobody (Atlantic Monthly, 2003)
  • Divining Rod (Dutton, 1998)
  • Dogfight & Other Stories (Plume, 1998).

Fiction in Periodicals

  • “Shelter in Place,” The Southern Review (vol.56.1, Winter 2021)
  • “The King of Dauphin Island,” The Sewanee Review (Vol. CXXV, No.1, Winter 2017)
  • “Cockfight,” The Cincinnati Review (Vol. 13, No. 1, Summer 2016).
  • “Water and Oil” The Southern Review (vol. 49:4 Autumn 2013)
  • “Jubilee,” Ploughshares, (vol 39:2, Fall 2013)
  • “Bonny Oaks,” The Saturday Evening Post, July, 2012
  • “The Atom Bowl,” Narrative, Fall 2010
  • The Nocturnal Habits of American White People,” Shenandoah (vol.77, no.2 summer 2010)
  • “Grand Old Party,” Oxford American, April 2008
  • “Thanksgiving,” Southern Review (vol.41, n.4, autumn 2005)
  • “Midnight at the Admiral Semmes,” Five Points (vol. 8, no. 1, winter 2003)
  • “Smash & Grab,” StoryQuarterly (no. 39, 2003)
  • “Feeling Lucky,” Virginia Quarterly Review (vol. 79, no. 1, winter 2003)
  • “Ellen’s Book,” Five Points (vol 6, no.1, winter 2001)
  • “Keeper of Secrets, Teller of Lies,” Virginia Quarterly Review, (vol. 77, no.4, autumn 2001)
  • “The End of Everything,” GQ (December, 1999)
  • “The Mesmerist,” Esquire (March, 1999)
  • “The Last War Story,” Mid-American Review (vol.19, no.2, spring 1999)
  • “Birdland,” The New Yorker (November 3, 1998)
  • “Killing Stonewall Jackson,” Story (vol. 46, no. 3 summer, 1998)
  • “Tenant,” Paris Review (no. 147, summer 1998)
  • “Amelia Earhart’s Coat,” Virginia Quarterly Review, (vol. 73,  no. 1, winter, 1997)
  • “Now You See Her,” Paris Review (no. 141, winter 1996)
  • “Gerald’s Monkey” Playboy (October, 1996)
  • “Sleeping with My Dog,” The Crescent Review (vol. 14, no. 3, 1996)
  • “Sundays,” Shenandoah, (vol. 46, no. 4, winter 1996).

Fiction in Anthologies

  • “Grand Old Party,” New Stories from the South: The Year’s Best (Algonquin, 2008)
  • “Gerald’s Monkey,” Behind the Short Story: From First to Final Draft (Pearson/Longman, 2007)
  • “Birdland, ”Best of the South: 1996-2005, (Algonquin, 2005)
  • “Feeling Lucky,” New Stories from the South: The Year’s Best (Algonquin, 2004.)
  • “Smash & Grab,” Best American Mystery Stories (Houghton Mifflin, 2004)
  • “Ellen’s Book,”  New Stories from the South: The Year’s Best (Algonquin, 2003)
  • “Birdland,” New Stories from the South: The Year’s Best (Algonquin, 1999).

Essays and Creative Nonfiction

  • “In Praise of Loneliness,” New Madrid, summer 2018
  • “Swimming the Backstroke or Writing What We Don’t Know,” Harvard Review (vol.33, Fall 2007)
  • “Faulkner, Rowan Oak and the Art of Deception,” First Draft, (Vol.13, no.1, Fall 2006)
  • “My Friend, Percival,” Calalloo (vol.28, no.2, spring 2005)
  • “Eyes,” Body (Avon Books, 1999).

Awards, Honors & Grants

  • Truman Capote Prize for Short Fiction, 2017
  • College of Arts and Sciences Teaching Award, 2013
  • Winner, Robert Penn Warren Prize for Excellence in Fiction, 2013
  • Winner, Graduate Student Association Award for Best Professor Inside the Classroom, 2008-2009
  • John and Renee Grisham Emerging Southern Writer, 2005
  • New Writing Award, Fellowship of Southern Writers, 1999
  • PEN/Hemingway Foundation Special Citation, 1999
  • Henfield Foundation Award for Fiction, 1996