Writing professor finds himself in the company of Flannery O’Connor
Professor Anthony “Tony” Grooms’ enthusiasm for writing dates back to the fourth grade. It all started in Ms. Merman Johnson’s classroom where he wrote his first story – and received his first rejection.
(Mar 7, 2006) — Professor Anthony “Tony” Grooms’ enthusiasm for writing dates back to the fourth grade.
It all started in Ms. Merman Johnson’s classroom where he wrote his first story –
and received his first rejection.
“Her influence ignited the spark that started my career‚” said Grooms‚ who has authored several books‚ including “Ice Poems‚” “Bombingham” and “Trouble No More.”
The Georgia Center for the Book named “Trouble No More‚” a collection of short stories‚ to its Top 25 Reading List last spring‚ propelling Grooms into the company of literary greats such as Flannery O’Connor and Alfred Uhry‚ whose names also appear on the list. The authors on the Top 25 list were chosen by the public and members of the center’s advisory council. The Georgia Center for the Book created the list to promote reading‚ specifically the novels of those who live or have lived in Georgia.
After learning that his book had been named to the list‚ however‚ Grooms faced a dilemma – “Trouble” had been out of print for years. The book was originally published in 1995 by La Questa Press‚ a small independent company. But the new KSU Press came to the rescue by publishing an updated second edition of “Trouble‚” which was released in late January.
He credits the enormous amount of support he has received from Kennesaw State‚ especially the KSU Press‚ the English department and the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning‚ for being able to pursue his literary career‚ as well as implement his ideas into teaching.
Grooms‚ who has a 4−year−old son with his wife‚ attorney Pamela Jackson‚ teaches fiction writing courses to undergraduate and graduate students.
“When Dr. Robert Hill told me in 1994 there was a spot for me at KSU‚ the university gave me the opportunity to bring my ideas into fruition‚” Grooms said. “KSU embraced a more practical approach to teaching writing. It’s not just about writing pretty poems but the processes involved in creative writing.”
Even though Grooms has attained many outstanding accomplishments‚ he is not stopping to rest. He won a Fulbright Fellowship last April and headed to Sweden in February‚ where he will spend one semester teaching at the University of Southern Stockholm. While there‚ he plans to conduct research about black Southerners living in Sweden for another project. A book of poems is also on Grooms’ radar screen.
A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers more than 150 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 41,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia and the second-largest university in the state. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the region and from 126 countries across the globe. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.