Executive Council

Ernest Suarez, President

Ernest Suarez Ernest Suarez is David M. O’Connell Professor of English at The Catholic University of America. He has published widely on southern literature, poetry, and music. Most recently, he is the editor of Jim Dickinson’s memoir I’m Just Dead, I’m Not Gone (2017) and of “Writing the South” in the Cambridge History of American Poetry (2015). He and Mike Mattison edit a regular feature, “Hot Rocks: Songs and Verse,” in Five Points: A Journal of Literature and Art, and Suarez writes occasional articles on music for The Washington Post. He was selected the James E. Dornan Memorial Professor of the Year at Catholic University (1993-1994), the District of Columbia Professor of the Year (1999) by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, and was the recipient of the William H. Kadel Distinguished Alumni Award (2000) from Eckerd College. He was a Senior Fulbright Fellow in Spain (1999) and China (2005-2006).


John Briggs, Immediate Past President

John BriggsJohn C. Briggs is a Professor of English at UC Riverside, and holder of the McSweeny Family chair in Rhetoric and Teaching Excellence. His book Francis Bacon and the Rhetoric of Nature (1988) won the Thomas J. Wilson Prize from Harvard University Press. He is also the author of the Lincoln's Speeches Reconsidered (Johns Hopkins University Press,2005). Other publications include essays on Shakespearean catharsis, human flourishing, Frederick Douglass and Macbeth, Bacon and Religion (in the Cambridge Companion to Bacon), and Lincoln and Shakespeare. He teaches courses in Renaissance and American literature, the history of rhetoric, and the teaching of composition. For the last five years he has been Director of the University Writing Program at UC Riverside.


Richard Russell, Vice President

Richard RussellRichard Rankin Russell is graduate program director and Professor of English at Baylor University. He specializes in modern and contemporary British and Irish literature. He has published eight books on Irish literature, including Seamus Heaney’s Regions (2014), which won the Cleanth Brooks/Robert Penn Warren Prize for Literary Criticism, and, most recently, Seamus Heaney: An Introduction (2016).


Lee Oser, Secretary

Lee OserEducated at Reed College and Yale University, Lee Oser teaches literature and religion at the College of the Holy Cross, in Worcester, Massachusetts, where he lives with his wife and children. His books include T.S. Eliot and American Poetry (1998), Out of What Chaos: A Novel (2007), and The Ethics of Modernism: Moral Ideas in Yeats, Eliot, Joyce, Woolf, and Beckett (2007). His poetry has appeared in Commonweal, Southwest Review, National Review, Spiritus, and Literary Imagination. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the T. S. Eliot Society.