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Misha Belikov on Randall Kenan

November 29, 2020

Randall only taught me one class of creative nonfiction, but it was one of the great pleasures and memories of my life to have been shocked and enlightened by Randall’s ritual of reading obituaries to his class every day… always … Continued

Miki Turner on Randall Kenan

October 26, 2020

It’s nearly midnight in Los Angeles, Oct. 25, 2020. I have just found out that my friend Randall Kenan died nearly three months ago. I received a Facebook message from a mutual friend expressing her heartbreak. After a series of … Continued

Atinuke Akintola Diver on Randall Kenan

October 21, 2020

I would not be the person/writer/artist/lawyer/organizer I am today if not for Professor Kenan. He was one of the many instructors I had as a student in UNC’s Creative Writing Program whose encouragement, guidance and support were creative sanctuary for me … Continued

M. Katherine Grimes on Randall Kenan

October 21, 2020

Randall Kenan spoke at Ferrum College’s African American Literature Conference one year. His graciousness toward our students was inspirational. What a loss.

Matthew Pitt on Randall Kenan

October 21, 2020

I first met Randall at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, then worked with him soon after, at the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. I loved how seriously, how sumptuously, he would speak of writing—and how playful he would get once our talks … Continued

Melanie Huynh-Duc on Randall Kenan

October 5, 2020

Dr. Kenan was formative in my years as an English major at UNC-CH. His novel A Visitation of Spirits remains one of my favorite books to this day. I’m so thankful I met him and deeply saddened by his loss.

Brian Beckman on Randall Kenan

October 5, 2020

The man who taught me to trust the power of story over anything else – to not get lost in being too artistic that you lose your authentic voice. A literary giant who always had time to teach and positively … Continued

Erin Lodeesen on Randall Kenan

October 5, 2020

When I began my Ph.D. program eleven years ago, I was insecure and scared almost every day (imposter syndrome is real). When I would run into literary giants in the hallway, I would shrink even smaller. But, every single time … Continued

UNC Press on Randall Kenan

October 5, 2020

Our hearts are heavy over the loss of Professor Randall Kenan. A pillar of Southern literature, you’ll find his essays and stories in several anthologies published by the Press. A beautiful person to know and an inspiration to the writers … Continued

Erin Beker on Randall Kenan

October 5, 2020

This is so sad. I had the honor of taking 3 different courses with Professor Kenan while at Carolina. He exuded vibrancy and energy and talent. He always had us draw horses on the whiteboard on the first day of … Continued