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Thomas Fox Averill is Writer-in-residence and Professor of English at Washburn University of Topeka, where he teaches courses in Creative Writing and in Kansas Literature, Folklore and Film. His publications include three novels: rode (University of New Mexico Press, 2011), Secrets of the Tsil Cafe, (BlueHen/ Penguin Putnam, 2001, and reprinted by UNM Press in 2012), and The Slow Air of Ewan MacPherson (BlueHen/Berkley, 2003). A collection of short stories, Ordinary Genius, was published by the University of Nebraksa Press in April 2005. He is represented by agent Alice Tasman of the Jean V. Naggar Agency. He is the 2006 recipient of the Kansas Arts Commission Fellowship in Fiction.
An O. Henry Award winner, his previous story collections are Passes at the Moon ( Woodley Press ) and Seeing Mona Naked (Watermark Press,1989). He is the editor of What Kansas Means to Me: Twentieth Century Writers on the Sunflower State (University Press of Kansas ). In the Fall of 1996, Eagle Books (Wichita) brought out his Oleander's Guide to Kansas: How You Know When You're Here. Passes at the Moon is out of print. Seeing Mona Naked and Oleander's Guide to Kansas are available only from the author.
He is also the author of numerous articles, poems, and short stories (in New Letters, Cimarron Review, Chariton Review, North American Review and Doubletake, and others), and is a frequent speaker on Kansas Culture.
He helped to found and was the first director of the Washburn Center for Kansas Studies. He has edited several books for Woodley Press and the Center for Kansas Studies, most recently Speaking French in Kansas, by Robert Day, and The Loose Change of Wonder, poems by Steven Hind (designated a Kansas Notable Book for 2007 by the Kansas Center for the Book). His most recent Center project is a Map of Kansas Literature. In 2009, Averill began the process of creating the Thomas Fox Averill Kansas Studies Collection at Mabee Library. Dedicated in 2010, the collection consists of novels, plays, collections of poetry and fiction, histories, biographies, memoirs, letters, scholarly articles, collected folklore, manuscripts and ephemera gathered over 40+ years of an abiding interest in all things Kansas. The Collection also contains materials pertinent to Averill's own career as a writer—manuscripts, correspondence, publicity materials, notes, etc.—and to his 30+ years at Washburn University. The Collection includes substantial materials from Wichita poet Irma Wassall. With the help of others, Averill has also created the Thomas Fox Averill Kansas Studies Collection Support Fund through the Washburn Endowment Association to preserve, enhance, increase and publicize the Collection.
Since its inception, Averill has been a series advisor and occasional scholar for Sunflower Journeys, produced by KTWU at Washburn University. Follow these links to view the segments on the Kansas Centennial and Home on the Range.
Averill is a long-time commentator in the voice of William Jennings Bryan Oleander
of Here, Kansas, for Kansas Public Radio, KANU, 91.5 FM, National
Public Radio from the University of Kansas. His Oleander play,
Abide With Me, won the first Great Plains Play Competition,
and was produced by the University of Kansas Theatre as the final
play of the 1996-97 Season. His commentaries were published bi-weekly
in the Topeka Metro News until 2009. For a Sunflower Journeys feature done in 1996, when Oleander's Guide to Kansas was published by Eagle Books, follow this link.
Averill's interests include bagpiping and gardening. He is married to freelance writer Jeffrey Ann Goudie and they have two children:
Eleanor Goudie-Averill and Alexander Goudie-Averill.
Photo page for publicity purposes.
Select below to navigate to other pages:
University of Nebraska Press catalogue description
Midlin, Kansas--story enhancement (a YouTube from KTWU, with visuals of the Postcards that inspired the short story "Leaving Midlin, Kansas"
The Slow Air of Ewan MacPherson
|Robert Burns Poetry
Making Haggis in Kansas, an essay
Pipe Tunes in Ewan MacPherson
Slow Air Reading at Prairie Lights
Kansas Public Radio Interview
Tsil with recipes
| Making Haggis in Kansas, an essay
Pipe Tunes by Thomas Fox Averill
This page will be constantly under construction. Each sub-page will change to keep information timely. Please re-visit at least once a month for updates on Oleander commentaries and author appearances. Thanks, Tom Averill
Question or comments should be addressed to:
Topeka, Kansas 66621