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April 4-6, 2025

Word of South

Maurice Carlos Ruffin

Maurice Carlos Ruffin’s most recent book is the story collection, The Ones Who Don’t Say They Love You (One World, 2021), a New York Times Editor’s Choice, a finalist for the Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence, and longlisted for the Story Prize. His first book, We Cast a Shadow (One World, 2019) was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, and the PEN America Open Book Prize. It was longlisted for the 2021 DUBLIN Literary Award, the Center for Fiction Prize, and the Aspen Words Literary Prize. The novel was also a New York Times Editor’s Choice. Ruffin is the winner of several literary prizes, including the Iowa Review Award in fiction and the William Faulkner–William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition Award for Novel-in-Progress. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the LA Times, the Oxford American, Garden & Gun, Kenyon Review, and Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Ruffin was asked, “What is your favorite part of The Ones Who Don’t Say They Love You?” He responded, “It’s kind of unique. There aren’t that many short story collections by African-Americans coming out of New Orleans, which is weird considering how legendary my hometown is. So I feel like the book is at the vanguard of a movement I hope will happen. I want to see books flooding out of New Orleans. We have so many stories to tell!”

A New Orleans native, Ruffin is a professor of Creative Writing at Louisiana State University, and the 2020-2021 John and Renee Grisham Writer-in-Residence at the University of Mississippi. Ruffin was also the 2022 Grand Marshal of the Mardi Gras Krewe of House Floats. He’ll be appearing at Word of South with the musician Larry Mitchell.