Thomas McConnell Named First Place Nonfiction Winner At The 2017 Porter Fleming Literary Competition

April 25, 2017 at 9:35 am

After being diagnosed with an incurable blood cancer, Dr. Thomas McConnell drew from a remembered conversation with a research nurse and from his own dreams to write “I Have Seen My Death,” which was awarded first place for nonfiction at the 2017 Porter Fleming Literary Competition on April 23 at the Morris Museum of Art. McConnell is a professor of English at the University of South Carolina Upstate.

“This cancer journal is an eloquent mediation on mortality, but it is more than that,” said Barry Yeoman, a judge for the Porter Fleming Literary Competition. “Thomas McConnell deftly moves between the scientific and the personal: between the sickening feeling that gripped Anna Bertha Roentgen in 1895 when she saw the first x-rayed hand bones–her own–and McConnell’s discovery, many decades later, that he had an incurable blood cancer. McConnell blends this material with precise, vivid language.'”

McConnell’s work has appeared in the Southeast Review, the Connecticut Review, the Cortland Review, Yemassee, Emrys Journal, and the Charleston Post & Courier among other publications. His awards and prizes include an artist’s grant from the Elizabeth George Foundation, the Hackney National Literary Award for the Short Story, Porter Fleming Awards for Fiction, Essay, and Drama, the South Carolina Fiction Project, the H.E. Francis Award, and the Hardagree Award for Fiction. His lectures and readings have taken him to Istanbul, Berlin, and the Sorbonne in Paris. His collection of stories, A Picture Book of Hell and Other Landscapes, was published by Texas Tech University Press in 2005. A Fulbright Scholar in the Czech Republic, he taught American literature and creative writing at Masaryk University. His novel of the Czechlands in World War II will be published by Hub City Press in 2018

The Porter Fleming Literary Competition recognizes talented writers who reside in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee and was founded in n 1993 by Shirley Fleming to honor her late father, noted author and artist Berry Fleming. The awards are funded by the Porter Fleming Foundation, which was established by Berry Fleming in 1963 as a memorial to his father, Porter Fleming, a prominent Augustan and one of the city’s leading philanthropists.

For more information, contact Dr. Thomas McConnell at (864) 503-5681 or tmcconnell@uscupstate.edu.