Literary Success Stories

Alan Lee Birkelbach ('78) and Jan Seale ('69 M.A.) (Photo by Gary Payne)UNT has a rich literary history of turning out notable writers across many genres including fiction, creative nonfiction and poetry.

David Lindsey ('70) has written numerous mysteries, including the Stuart Haydon series. And Larry McMurtry ('58) is considered one of America's greatest writers, winning the Pulitzer Prize for fiction for Lonesome Dove and an Academy Award for co-writing the screenplay for Brokeback Mountain.

Several Texas Poet Laureates also have UNT ties — Alan Lee Birkelbach ('78) and Jan Seale ('69 M.A.), Cleatus Rattan ('65, '69 M.Ed.), former vice president Arthur Sampley and Lexie Dean Robertson, who attended in the 1910s.

Billy Bob Hill ('78 M.A., '92 Ph.D.) has edited numerous anthologies of Texas poetry and short stories and operated Browder Springs Publishing in Dallas.

More recent poet graduate successes include Chelsea Woodard ('12 Ph.D.), who was featured in the 2011 Best New Poets anthology, as well as The Threepenny Review, Southwest Review and Shenandoah — considered some of the best literary magazines in the nation.

John Poch ('00 Ph.D.) has been published in Ploughshares, The Paris Review and The New Republic and founded 32 Poems Magazine, serving as editor for 10 years. He and Chad Davidson ('97 M.A.) wrote poems about one of their favorite sports, resulting in the mock anthology Hockey Haiku (St. Martin's Press) in 2006.

Novels written by alumni and released by major publishers in the last few years include Leila Jaynes Meacham's ('63) Roses in 2011 and Tumbleweeds (Grand Central Publishing) in 2012 and Darin Bradley's ('02, '04 M.A., '07 Ph.D.) Noise (Spectra) in 2010.