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115 Arts and Letters Building

Dr. Ray McManus,

Associate Professor of English



Ph.D. Rhetoric and Composition, University of South Carolina, May 2006. Specialization: Creative Writing Pedagogy. Dissertation: Someone Won't be Coming Back: Three Chapbooks of Poems Exploring Death, Religion, and Divorce
M.F.A., Creative Writing, Poetry, University of South Carolina, 2001.
B.A., English, Writing Intensive, University of South Carolina, 1997.


Red Dirt Jesus. Michigan: Marick Press, 2011.
Left Behind. South Carolina: Stepping Stones Press, 2008.
Driving through the country before you are born. South Carolina: University of South Carolina Press, 2007.

Selected Individual Poems  

“Sixth Grade” and “American Poem #4,” Barely South Review, Forthcoming 2013
“American Poem #2” and “Rake/Chip/Spoon,” Pea River Review, Winter 2013
“General” and “Dick,” Pinch, Fall, 2012.
“For all the shitty jobs I’ve worked,” Natural Bridge, Spring 2012: #26.
“Baptism” and “Ax,” Undefined, Spring 2011: Book 11.
“Fishing” and “What Revolutions are For,” Arkansas Review, December 2010: Volume 41, #3.
“Little Bighorn, an Operetta” and “Aerobic Jesus,” Yemassee, Fall 2009: Volume XVI, #2.
“Truck Driving Jesus,” Waccamaw, Spring 2009: #3.
“Gospel as Acid Reflux,” Asheville Poetry Review, Spring 2009: Issue 18, Volume 15, #1.
“Harvest,” Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Spring 2009: #31.

“Saturday Mornings” and “When we stopped talking about the weather” A Sense of the Midlands. South Carolina: Muddy Ford Press, forthcoming 2013.
“Last Stand” Seeking Jonathan Greene. South Carolina: USC Press, forthcoming 2013.
“Black,” “Burning Caterpillars,” “Orientation,” “Red Barn,” “Hatchery,” and “Driving through the country before you are born.” Seven Strong. South Carolina: USC Press, forthcoming 2013.
 “Red Barn,” “Toilet,” and “Things to tell my son.” The Southern Poetry Anthology. Texas: Texas Review Press, 2008.

Essays and Reviews
“Throwing Punches in the Dark/Pretty Mess/Getting High with Terrance Hayes.” The Limelight: A compendium of Contemporary Columbia Artists Vol 1. South Carolina: Muddy Ford Press, February 2013.
“Book Review: "The Wake Forest Series of Irish Poetry: Volume Two (review)." New Hibernia Review 16.1 (2012): 156-158.
“Book Review: Nikky Finney’s Head Off & Split.” Jasper: The Word of Columbia Arts. Vol. 001, # 003, January 2012.
“My summer vacation (or I wish I didn’t know now what I didn’t know then)” and “Let’s take it outside (with Ed Madden).”Wingbeats. Scott Wiggerman, ed.  Austin, Texas: Dos Gatos Press, August 2011.
“Book Review: Terrance Hayes’ Lighthead.” Freetimes, December 2010.

Selected Presentations and Readings
Selected Conference Presentations
“Amharc Mór:  “The Grand View” of Campbell McGrath’s Irish-American Poetry” American Conference for Irish Studies, National Conference, Chicago, Illinois, April 10-13, 2013.
“What? Not Irish Enough? The Curious Case of Campbell McGrath” American Conference for Irish Studies, National Conference, New Orleans, Louisiana, March 14-17, 2012.
 “Every Other Kind of Irish: Complicating Irish American Identity through Southern Literature” American Conference for Irish Studies, National Conference, Madison, Wisconsin, March 30-April 2, 2011.
“‘There’s No Getting Away From It If You’re Irish’: Irish Immigrant Identity in the American South of Gone With the Wind” American Conference for Irish Studies, National Conference, Galway, Ireland, June 10-13, 2009.

Selected Readings       
University of Mary Visiting Writers Series, University of Mary, Bismarck North Dakota, April 17-19, 2013
“Open Eyed, Full Throated,” Northern Illinois University, DeKalb Illinois, April 12, 2013
Prairie Schooner Visiting Writer’s Series, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln NB, March 28-30, 2013
Hub City Writer’s in Place Conference, Wofford College, Spartanburg SC, July 13-15, 2012.
South Carolina Book Festival, Columbia SC, May 18-20-2012.
“Poetrio,” Malaprop’s Bookstore, Asheville, North Carolina, April, 1, 2012.
Upcountry Literary Festival, Union SC, March 23, 2012.
Southern Festival of Books, Nashville, Tennessee, October 14-16, 2011.
Hub City Bookshop, Spartanburg SC, September 12, 2011.
“Poetrio,” Malaprop’s Bookstore, Asheville, North Carolina, September, 4, 2011.
“Mind Gravy,” Cayce, South Carolina, August 24, 2011.
 “We Apologize In Advance: An Afternoon of Poetry and Comedy,” USC Sumter, April 20, 2011.
“The Shark’s Parlor,” Reading at The White Mule, April 19, 2011.
“Monday Night Blues,” Reading at East Bay Meeting House, Charleston SC, April 11, 2011.
“Open Eyed, Full Throated,” University of Wisconsin, April 1, 2011.
USC Union Literary Festival, Union SC, March 11, 2011.
“The Shark’s Parlor,” Reading at The White Mule, November 12, 2010.
“Men, Meat, and Heat,” SMOKE Southern Barbecue Revival, Reading, May 21, 2010.
“Open Eyed, Full Throated,” Penn State University, May 6-8, 2010.
“A Moveable Feast,” Georgetown, SC April 25, 2010.
“A Celebration of Ray McManus,” USC Sumter, April 23, 2010.
The Lettered Olive Reading, University of South Carolina Honors College, April 22, 2010.
Poetry Out Loud State Finals, Columbia Museum of Art, March 20, 2010.
“Open Eyed, Full Throated,” Winthrop University, March 5-6, 2010.
South Carolina Book Festival, February 27-29, 2010.
“Tea and Poetry Series,” Waccamaw Center for Higher Learning, Coastal Carolina, February 4, 2010.
“How God Ends Us,” Reading with Susan Meyers and Ed Madden, Book Launch for DéLana Dameron, Gallery 80808, Columbia, SC, August 28, 2009
“Open Eyed, Full Throated,” Galway, Ireland, June 13, 2009
Main Branch Poetry Reading Series, Charleston County Public Library, Charleston, April 28, 2009
Poetry at Paperwhites, Edgefield SC, April 18, 2009
The South Carolina Book Festival, February 28-29, 2009
Piccolo Spoleto, Sundown Poetry Series, May 30, 2008
Irish American Poets Read, with Knute Skinner, University of Missouri, St. Louis April 3, 2008
“Monday Night Blues,” East Bay Coffee Shop, Charleston March 31, 2008
“Cabaret of Words,” Richland County Public Library, Columbia, March 25, 2008
The South Carolina Book Festival, February 23-24, 2008

Professional Service

Selected Community Activities
Poetry Out Loud: Midlands Region, Partner and Coordinator, November 2010-Present
Archibald Rutledge Scholarship for Creative Writing, State Department of Education, Judge, 2008-Present
Poetry Out Loud National Poetry Recitation Contest State Finals, Judge, March 20, 2010
National Career Development Association Poetry and Poster Contest, Judge, January 13, 2010
The Carrie Allen McCray Literary Award, The SC Writer’s Workshop, Judge, 2008-2009
First Annual Poetry and Picture Contest, Edgefield County Library, Judge, 2008-2009
The Petigru Review, Poetry Contest for the South Carolina’s Writing Workshop, Judge, 2008

Grants Awarded

Back to Carolina Course Creation Grant – English 427: Southern Literature – 2012
Provost Creative and Performing Arts Internal Grant for “Punch: A Collection of Poetry on the Working Class” -- 2012

Selected Honors and Awards         

Featured Scholar for May 2012
USC Sumter Professor of the Year Award, 2010-2011, 2011-2012, 2012-2013 and 2014-2015
Marick Press Poetry Prize, 2010
Mortar Board Teaching Excellence Award, 2008-2009