M.O. Walsh

Assistant Professor (fiction)M.O. "Neal" Walsh

Contact

Phone: 504-280-6803

Email:  mowalsh@uno.edu

Website:www.mowalsh.com

Background

Education: M.A., University of Tennessee | M.F.A., University of Mississippi

Area of Specialty: Fiction 

M.O. Walsh was born and raised in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He has spent his entire adult life in the American South, from the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee to the lakes of Mississippi to the hot green lawns of Louisiana, and would not want it any other way. Besides writing, his main interests are being fanatical about unimportant things like collegiate sports and slapstick comedies, trying out new bourbons, and trying to find the best roast beef po' boy on the planet. He is also madly in love with his beautiful wife, genius daughter, and strapping young son. This also takes up a lot of his time.

His fiction ranges somewhat wildly from Magical Realism to traditional Southern storytelling to 2nd person Fabulism, while he is admittedly not certain what those terms mean. His first book, The Prospect of Magic was published in 2010 by Livingston Press as winner of the Tartt's First Fiction Prize. Described by The Southern Literary Review as a book "so vivid...it brings Louisiana to life in a way that no [book] has done before..." The Prospect of Magic was a named an Editor's Pick for Best Books of 2010 by Oxford American and was a Finalist for the Eric Hoffer Award for General Fiction.

His other essays and stories have appeared in The New York Times, The Southern Review, American Short Fiction, American Book Review, Epoch, Oxford American, Story South and LitnImage, among others, and have been anthologized in Best New American Voices, Best of the Net, Louisiana in Words and Bar Stories. Two separate stories have been named "Notable Stories of the Year" by The Million Writers Award (2007 & 2010) and his story "The Vicinity of the Sick" was named a Top Ten Story of 2010 by the international culture magazine Flavorwire.com.

His novel My Sunshine Away will be released in February 2015 by Putnam with foreign editions also sold to UK, Netherlands, Israel, Italy and Brazil. It has been named a BEA Buzz Book, A Library Journal Essential Debut, an Ingram's Premier Pick, and received a starred review by Kirkus. Of My Sunshine Away, the novelist Tom Franklin says, "My Sunshine Away is that rarest find, a page-turner you want to read slowly and a literary novel you can't look away from. At times funny, at times spine-tinglingly suspenseful and at times just flat-out wise, this novel is also a meditation on memory, how it can destroy or damn us but redeem us as well. It's a book to read and reread, one that will only get better with time..."  The Kirkus Review says "Celebrate fiction lovers: The Gods of Southern Gothic storytelling have inducted a junior member."

Walsh is currently the director of The Creative Writing Workshop, with both Resident and Low Residency MFA options.