Xavier Review seeks to publish a special issue of original essays that examine the writing of Jesmyn Ward. In just over a decade, Ward has produced a body of work that has simultaneously found its way onto syllabi in academe and bestseller lists throughout publishing. Garnering both critical attention and prestigious awards, in 2017 she became the first woman to be awarded two National Book Awards for fiction.

Xavier Review invites essays opening new lines of inquiry into Ward’s writing and editorship. Topics and themes might include depictions of animals and natural disasters; the fictionalized constructions of social and natural landscapes of the Gulf South; considerations of race, gender, and poverty; use of vernacular language; situating Ward’s writing along a continuum of African American literature or Southern literature; comparisons to other writers; and the use of African retentions.

Abstracts of no more than 250 words should be submitted by 15 March 2018 to Thomas Bonner (tbonner@xula.edu) or Robin G. Vander (rvander@xula.edu).