Sign up to win prizes and for exclusive updates about this year’s festival

April 4-6, 2025

Word of South

Thomas Reed

Thomas Reed grew up in Providence, Rhode Island, and now lives in Sarasota, Florida. He spent more than three decades teaching medieval and Victorian literature, film, and writing at Dickinson College in Carlisle Pennsylvania.

Reed began writing fiction as a byproduct of his teaching and research. A handful of his literature classes required students to craft stories that filled out aspects of the lives of minor characters in the novels they were studying. Reed joined right in with the workshops, producing what became his first published fiction. Later, while researching a book on Robert Louis Stevenson, he discovered that the Scottish writer’s dark story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde had once been suspected of inspiring Jack the Ripper. Reed’s debut novel, Seeking Hyde (2018), dealt with the origins and unanticipated impact of Stevenson’s masterpiece and was named as a finalist for the Foreword Indies Book of the Year Award for Historical Fiction.

His second novel, Pocketful of Poseys, draws more broadly on his experience growing up in an academic family; his education at Yale, the University of Virginia, and as a Fulbright Fellow at Oxford; years spent living in Rome and Christchurch, N.Z.; circum-global travels with his wife and children, and courageous decisions made by his mother-in-law as she faced her death. He and wife Dottie now split their year between Sarasota, Florida, and Camp Pemigewassett, a summer camp for boys in New Hampshire. He’ll be appearing at Word of South as part of our panel of Florida Book Award fiction and poetry award winners.